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New York and London 

Mt Tup Abroad 

Copyright, 1933, by Harper & Brothers 
Printed in tlM United Statei of America 






I. I Decide to Play Hookey i 

II. Off to Europe 13 

III. Days on Shipboard 24 

IV. Hello! England 35 

V. I Arrive in London 46 

VI. The Haunts of My Childhood 55 

VII. A Joke and Still on the Go 63 

VIII. A Memorable Night in London 70 

IX. I Meet the Immortals 80 

X. I Meet Thomas Burke and H. G. Wells 92 

XI. Off to France 102 

XII. My Visit to Germany 113 

XIII. I Fly from Paris to London 124 

XIV. Farewells to Paris and London 134 

XV. Bon Voyage 143 


I Salute Europe! . - Frontispiece 

As I Look When I Am Serious Facing p! 8 

I Sign a $670,000 Contract " 14 

My $3,000,000 Home from an Airplane " 14 

Surrounded by Some of My Admirers " 22 

I Am Welcomed by the Mayor of Southampton, England . " 40 

I Arrive at the Ritz in London " 50 

I Love Dogs " 62 

Scenes from "The Kid," in Which I Star with Jackie 

Coogan " 86 

I Meet H. G. Wells " 94 

In Paris with Sir Philip Sassoon and Georges Carpentier " 102 

I Meet Lady Rock-Savage and Sir Philip Sassoon, the Poet " 106 

I Am Met in Paris by Dudley Field Malone " no 

I Meet the Beautiful Pola Negri in Berlin " 116 

My Favorite Close-up " 126 

I Travel from Paris to London in the Latest Style . . " 138 

Scenes from " Sunnyside," One of My Favorite Photo Plays . " 148 




ASTEAK-AND-KIDNEY pie, influenza, and a cablegram. 
There is the triple alliance that is responsible for the 
whole thing. Though there might have been a bit of home- 
sickness and a desire for applause mixed up in the cycle 
of circumstances that started me off to Europe for a vacation. 

For seven years I have been basking in California's per- 
petual sunlight, a sunlight artificially enhanced by the 
studio Cooper-Hewitts. For seven years I have been 
working and thinking along in a single channel and I wanted 
to get away. Away from Hollywood, the cinema colony, 
away from scenarios, away from the celluloid smell of the 
studios, away from contracts, press notices, cutting rooms, 
crowds, bathing beauties, custard pies, big shoes, and little 
mustaches. I was in the atmosphere of achievement, but 
an achievement which, to me, was rapidly verging on 

I wanted an emotional holiday. Perhaps I am projecting 
at the start a difficult condition for conception, but I assure 
you that even the clown has his rational moments and I 
needed a few. 

The triple alliance listed above came about rather simul- 
taneously. I had finished the picture of "The Kid" and 


"The Idle Class" and was about to embark on another. 
The company had been engaged. Script and settings were 
ready. We had worked on the picture one day. 

I was feeling very tired, weak, and depressed. I had 
just recovered from an attack of influenza. I was in one 
of those "what's the use" moods. I wanted something 
and didn't know what it was. 

And then Montague Glass invited me to dinner at his 
home in Pasadena. There were many other invitations, 
but this one carried with it the assurance that there would 
be a steak-and-kidney pie. A weakness of mine. I was on 
hand ahead of time. The pie was a symphony. So was 
the evening. Monty Glass, his charming wife, their little 
daughter, Lucius Hitchcock, the illustrator, and his wife — 
just a homey little family party devoid of red lights and 
jazz orchestras. It awoke within me a chord of something 
reminiscent. I couldn't quite tell what. 

After the final onslaught on the pie, into the parlor before 
an open fire. Conversation, not studio patois nor idle 
chatter. An exchange of ideas — ideas founded on ideas. 
I discovered that Montague Glass was much more than the 
author of Potash and Perlmutter. He thought. He was an 
accomplished musician. 

He played the piano. I sang. Not as an exponent of 
entertainment, but as part of the group having a pleasant, 
homey evening. We played charades. The evening was 
over too soon. It left me wishing. Here was home in its 
true sense. Here was a man artistically and commercially 
successful who still managed to lock the doors and put out 
the cat at night. 

I drove back to Los Angeles. I was restless. There was 
a cablegram waiting for me from London. It called atten- 
tion to the fact that my latest picture, "The Kid," was 
about to make its appearance in London, and, as it had 
been acclaimed my best, this was the time for me to make 
the trip back to my native land. A trip that I had been 
promising myself for years. 


What would Europe look like after the war? 

I thought it over. I had never been present at the first 
showing of one of my pictures. Their debut to me had 
been in Los AngelSs projection rooms. I had been missing 
something vital and stimulating. I had success, but it was 
stored away somewhere. I had never opened the package 
and tasted it. I sort of wanted to be patted on the back. 
And I rather relished the pats coming in and from England. 
They had hinted that I could, so I wanted to turn London 
upside down. Who wouldn't want to do that? And all 
the time there was the specter of nervous breakdown from 
overwork threatening and the actual results of influenza 
apparent, to say nothing of the steak-and-kidney pie. 

Sensation of the pleasantest sort beckoned me, at the 
same time rest was promised. I wanted to grab it while 
it was good. Perhaps "The Kid" might be my last picture. 
Maybe there would never be another chance for me to bask 
in the spotlight. And I wanted to see Europe — England, 
France, Germany, and Russia. Europe was new. 

It was too much. I stopped preparations on the pic- 
ture we were taking. Decided to leave the next night 
for Europe. And did it despite the protests and the 
impossibility howlers. Tickets were engaged. We packed. 
Everyone was shocked. I was glad of it. I wanted to 
shock everyone. 

The next night I believe that most of Hollywood was at 
the train in Los Angeles to see me off. And so were their 
sisters and their cousins and their aunts. Why was I 
going? A secret mission, I told them. It was an effective 
answer. I was immediately signed to do pictures in Europe 
in the minds of most of them. But then would they have 
believed or understood if I had told them I wanted an 
emotional holiday? I don't believe so. 

There was the usual station demonstration at the train. 
The crowd rather surprised me. It was but a foretaste. I do 
not try to remember the shouted messages of cheer that 
were flung after me. They were of the usual sort, I imagine. 


One, however, sticks. My brother Syd at the last moment 
rushed up to one of my party. 

"For God's sake, don't let him get married!" he shouted. 

It handed the crowd a laugh and me a scare. 

The train pulled out and I settled down to three days of 
relaxation and train routine. I ate sometimes in the dining 
car, sometimes in our drawing-room. I slept atrociously. 
I always do. I hate traveling. The faces left on the plat- 
form at Los Angeles began to look kinder and more attrac- 
tive. They did not seem the sort to drive one away. But 
they had, or maybe it was optical illusion on my part, 
illusion fostered by mental unrest. 

For two thousand miles we did the same thing over many 
times, then repeated it. Perhaps there were many interesting 
people on the train. I did not find out. The percentage of 
interesting ones on trains is too small to hazard. Most of 
the time we played solitaire. You can play it many times 
in two thousand miles. 

Then we reached Chicago. I like Chicago. I have 
never been there for any great length of time, but my 
glimpses of it have disclosed tremendous activity. Its 
record speaks achievement. 

But to me, personally, Chicago suggested Carl Sandburg, 
whose poetry I appreciate highly and whom I had met in 
Los Angeles. I must see dear old Carl and also call at the 
office of the Daily News. They were running an enormous 
scenario contest. I am one of the judges, and it happens 
that Carl Sandburg is on the same paper. 

Our party went to the Blackstone Hotel, where a suite 
had been placed at our disposal. The hotel management 
overwhelmed us with courtesies. 

Then came the reporters. You can't describe them unless 
you label them with the hackneyed interrogation point. 

"Mr. Chaplin, why are you going to Europe?" 

"Just for a vacation." 

"Are you going to make pictures while you are there?" 



"What do you do with your old mustaches?" 

"Throw them away." 

"What do you do with your old canes?" 

"Throw them away." 

"What do you do with your old shoes?" 

" Throw them away." 

That lad did well. He got in all those questions before 
he was shouldered aside and two black eyes boring through 
lenses surrounded by tortoise-shell frames claimed an 
inning. I restored the "prop grin" which I had decided 
was effective for interviews. 

"Mr. Chaplin, have you your cane and shoes with you?" 


"Why not?" 

"I don't think I'll need them." 

"Are you going to get married while you are in Europe?" 


The bespectacled one passed with the tide. As he passed 
I let the grin slip away, but only for a moment. Hastily I 
recalled it as a charming young lady caught me by the arm. 

"Mr. Chaplin, do you ever expect to get married?" 


"To whom?" 

"I don't know." 

"Do you want to play Hamlet?" 

"Why, I don't know. I haven't thought much about 
it, but if you think there are any reasons why — " 

But she was gone. Another district attorney had the 

"Mr. Chaplin, are you a Bolshevik?" 


"Then why are you going to Europe?" 

"For a holiday." 

"What holiday?" 

"Pardon me, folks, but I did not sleep well on the train 
and I must go to bed." 

Like a football player picking a hole in the line, I had 


seen the bedroom door open and a friendly hand beckon. 
I made it. Within I had every opportunity to anticipate 
the terror that awaited me on my hoHday. Not the crowds. 
I love them. They are friendly and instantaneous. But 
interviewers! Then we went to the News office, and the 
trip was accomplished without casualty. There we met 
photographers. I didn't relish facing them. I hate still 

But it had to be done. I was the judge in the contest 
and they must have pictures of the judge. 

Now I had always pictured a judge as being a rather dig- 
nified personage, but I learned about judges from them. 
Their idea of the way to photograph a judge was to have 
him standing on his head or with one leg pointing east. 
They suggested a mustache, a derby hat, and a cane. 

It was inevitable. 

I couldn't get away from Chaplin. 

And I did so want a holiday. 

But I met Carl Sandburg. There was an oasis amid the 
misery. Good old Carl! We recalled the days in Los 
Angeles. It was a most pleasant chatfest. 

Back to the hotel. 

Reporters. More reporters. Lady reporters. 

A publicity barrage. 

"Mr. Chaplin—" 

But I escaped. What a handy bedroom ! There must be 
something in practice. I felt that I negotiated it much 
better on the second attempt. I rather wanted to try out 
my theory to see if I had become an adept in dodging into 
the bedroom. I would try it. I went out to brave the 
reporters. But they were gone. And when I ducked back 
into the bedroom, as a sort of rehearsal, it fell fiat. The effect 
was lost without the cause. 

A bit of food, some packing, and then to the train again. 
This time for New York. Crowds again. I liked them. 
Cameras. I did not mind them this time, as I was not 
asked to pose. 


Carl was there to see me off. 

I must do or say something extra nice to him. Something 
he could appreciate. I couldn't think. I talked inanities 
and I felt that he knew I was being inane. I tried to think 
of a passage of his poetry to recite. I couldn't. Then it 
came — the inspiration. 

"Where can I buy your book of poems, Carl?" I almost 
blurted it out. It was gone. Too late to be recalled. 

"At any bookstore." 

His reply may have been casual. To me it was damning. 

Ye gods, what a silly imbecile I was! I needed rest. My 
brain was gone. I couldn't think of a thing to say in reprieve. 
Thank God, the train pulled out then. I hope Carl will 
understand and forgive when he reads this, if he ever does. 

A wretched sleep en train, more solitaire, meals at schedule 
times, and then we hit New York. 

Crowds. Reporters. Photographers. And Douglas Fair- 
banks. Good old Doug. He did his best, but Doug has 
never had a picture yet where he had to buck news pho- 
tographers. They snapped me in every posture anatomically 
possible. Two of them battled with my carcass in argument 
over my facing east or west. 

Neither won. But I lost. My body couldn't be split. 
But my clothes could — and were. 

But Doug put in a good lick and got me into an auto- 
mobile. Panting, I lay back against the cushions. 

To the Ritz went Doug and I. 

To the Ritz went the crowd. 

Or at least I thought so, for there was a crowd there and 
it looked like the same one. I almost imagined I saw 
familiar faces. Certainly I saw cameras. But this time 
our charge was most successful. With a guard of porters 
as shock troops, we negotiated the distance between the 
curb and the lobby without the loss of a single button. 

I felt rather smart and relieved. But, as usual, I was too 
previous. We ascended to the suite. There they were. 
The gentlemen of the press. And one lady of the press. 


"Mr. Chaplin, why are you going to Europe?" 

"For a vacation." 

"What do you do with your old mustaches?" 

"Throw them away." 

"Do you ever expect to get married?" 


"What's her name?" 

"I don't know." 

"Are you a Bolshevik?" 

"I am an artist. I am interested in life. Bolshevism is 
a new phase of life. I must be interested in it." 

"Do you want to play Hamlet?" 

"Why, I don't know—" 

Again Lady Luck fiew to my side. I was called to the 
telephone. I answered the one in my bedroom, and closed 
the door, and kept it closed. The Press departed. I felt 
like a wrung dishrag. I looked into the mirror, I saw a 
Cheshire cat grinning back at me. I was still carrying the 
"prop " grin that I had invented for interviews. I wondered 
if it would be easier to hold it all the time rather than chase 
it into play at the sight of reporters. But some one might 
accuse me of imitating Doug. So I let the old face slip 
back to normalcy. 

Doug came. Mary was better. She was with him. It 
was good to see her. The three of us went to the roof to 
be photographed. We were, in every conceivable pose 
until some one suggested that Doug hang over the edge 
of the roof, holding Mary in one hand and me in the other. 
Pretty little thought. But that's as far as it got. I beat 
Doug to the refusal by a hair. 

It's great to have friends like Doug and Mary. They 
understood me perfectly. They knew what the seven 
years' grind had meant to my nerves. They knew just 
how badly I needed this vacation, how I needed to get 
away from studios and pictiures, how I needed to get away 
from myself. 

Doug had thought it all out and had planned that while 



I was in New York my vacation should be perfect. He 
would see that things were kept pleasant for me. 

So he insisted that I go and see his new picture, "The 
Three Musketeers." 

I was nettled. I didn't want to see pictures. But I was 
polite. I did not refuse, though I did try to evade. 

It was useless. Very seriously he wanted me to see the 
picture and give my honest opinion. He wanted my criti- 
cism, my suggestions. 

I had to do it. I always do. I saw the picture in jerks. 

Reporters were there. Their attendance was no secret. 

The picture over, I suggested a few changes and several 
cuts which I thought would improve it. 

I always do. 

They listened politely and then let the picture ride the 
way it was. 

They always do. 

Fortunately, the changes I suggested were not made, and 
the picture is a tremendous success. 

But I still have status as a critic. I am invited to a 
showing of Mary's picture, "Little Lord Fauntleroy," and 
asked for suggestions. They know that I'll criticize. I 
always do and they are afraid of me. Though when they 
look at my pictures they are always kind and sympathetic 
and never criticize. 

I told Mary her picture was too long. I told her where 
to cut it. Which, of course, she doesn't do. She never 

She and Doug listen politely and the picture stands. It 
always does. 

Newspaper men are at the hotel. I go through the same 
barrage of questions. My "prop" grin does duty for 
fifteen minutes. I escape. 

Douglas phones me. He wants to be nice to me. I am 
on my vacation and he wants it to be a very pleasant one. 
So he invites me to see "The Three Musketeers" again. 
This time ^t its first showing before the public, 


Before the opening of Doug's picture we were to have 
dinner together, Mary and Doug, Mrs. Conde Nast and I. 

I feel very embarrassed at meeting Mrs. Nast again. 
Somewhere there lurks in my memory a broken dinner 
engagement. It worried me, as I had not even written. 
It was so foolish not to write. I would be met probably 
with an " all-is-f orgiven " look. 

I decide that my best defense is to act vague and not 
speak of it. I do so and get away with it. 

And she has the good taste not to mention it, so a pleasant 
time is had by all. 

We went to the theater in Mrs. Nast's beautiful limou- 
sine. The crowds were gathered for several blocks on every 
side of the theater. 

I felt proud that I was in the movies. Though on this 
night, with Douglas and Mary, I felt that I was trailing in 
their glory. It was their night. 

There are cheers — for Mary, for Doug, for me. Again I 
feel proud that I am in the movies. I try to look dignified. 
I coax up the "prop" smile and put into it real pleasure. 
It is a real smile. It feels good and natural. 

We get out of the car and the crowds swarm. Most of 
the "all- American" selections are there. Doug takes Mary 
under his wing and plows through as though he were doing 
a scene and the crowd were extras. 

I took my cue from him. I took Mrs. Nast's arm. At 
least I tried to take it, but she seemed to sort of drift away 
from me down toward Eighth Avenue, while I, for no 
apparent reason, backed toward Broadway. The tide 
changed. I was swept back toward the entrance of the 
theater. I was not feeling so proud as I had been. I was 
still smiling at the dear public, but it had gone back to the 
"prop" smile. 

I realized this and tried to put real pleasure into the 
smile again. As the grin broadened it opened new space in 
the jam and a policeman parked his fist in it. 

I 4oii't like the t^ste of policemen's lists, I told him so 


in a gargle. He glared at me and pushed me for a "first 
down." My hat flew toward the heavens. It has never 
returned to me. 

I felt a draught. I heard machinery. I looked down. 
A woman with a pair of scissors was snipping a piece from 
the seat of my trousers. Another grabbed my tie and 
almost put an end to my suffering through strangulation. 
My collar was next. But they only got half of that. 

My shirt was pulled out. The buttons torn from my vest. 
My feet trampled on. My face scratched. But I still 
retained the smile, "prop" one though it was. Whenever 
I could think of it I tried to raise it above the level of a 
"prop" smile and was always rewarded with a policeman's 
fist. I kept insisting that I was Charlie Chaplin and that 
I belonged inside. It was absolutely necessary that I see 
' ' The Three Musketeers. ' ' 

Insistence won. As though on a prearranged signal I 
felt myself lifted from my feet, my body inverted until my 
head pointed toward the center of the lobby and my feet 
pointed toward an electric sign advertising the Ziegfeld 
Roof. Then there was a surge, and I moved forward right 
over the heads of the crowd through the lobby. 

As I went through the door, not knowing into what, I 
saw a friend. 

With the "prop" smile still waving, I flung back, "See 
you later," and, head first, I entered the theater and came 
to in a heap at the foot of a bediamonded dowager. I 
looked up, still carrying the "prop" smile, but my effort 
fell flat. There was no applause in the look she gave me. 

Crestfallen, I gathered myself together, and with what 
dignity there was left I strode to the box that had been 
set aside for our party. There was Mary, as sweet and 
beautiful as ever; Mrs. Nast, calm and composed; Doug 
serene and dapper. 

"Late again," they looked. 

And Mary, steely polite, enumerated my sartorial short- 
comings. But I knew one of them, at le^st better than she 


did, and I hastened to the men's room for repairs. Soap 
and water and a brush did wonders, but I could find no 
trousers, collar, or tie, and I returned clean but ragged to the 
box, where disapproval was being registered unanimously. 

I tried to make the "prop" grin more radiant, even 
though I was most tired after my journey, but it didn't 
go with Doug and Mary. 

But I refused to let them spoil my pleasure and I saw 
"The Three Musketeers." 

It was a thrilling success for Doug. I felt good for him, 
though I was a bit envious. I wondered if the showing of 
"The Kid" could have meant as big a night for me. 

'Twas quite a night, this opening of the Fairbanks mas- 
terpiece, and, considering all the circumstances, I think I 
behaved admirably. Somehow, though, I think there is a 
vote of three to one against me. 



NEXT morning there was work to do. My lawyer, 
Nathan Burkan, had to be seen. There were contracts 
and other things. Almost as much a nuisance as interviews. 
But I dare say they are necessary. 

Poor old Nath! I love him, but am afraid of him. His 
pockets always bulge contracts. We could be such good 
friends if he were not a lawyer. And I am sure that there 
must be times when he is delightful company. I might 
fire him and then get acquainted. 

A very dull day with him. Interrupted by phones, invi- 
tations, parties, theater tickets sent to me, people asking 
for jobs. Hundreds of letters camouflaged with good wishes 
and invariably asking favors. But I like them. 

Calls from many old friends who depress me and many 
new ones who thrill me. I wanted some buckwheat cakes. 
I had to go three blocks to a Childs' restaurant to get them. 
Why doesn't a hotel like the Ritz get a chef who knows 
how to make buckwheat cakes? Can't they lure one away 
from the spotlight of the white front? Still, I guess there 
is a thrill in tossing the batter in the air and catching it 
while hungry-looking eyes and flattened noses are pressed 
against the window. 

That night I went to see "Liliom," the best play in New 
York at the time and one which in moments rises to true 
greatness. It impressed me tremendously and made me 
dissatisfied with myself. I don't like being without work. 


I want to go on the stage. Wonder if I could play that 

I went back behind the scenes and met young Skildkraut. 
I was amazed at his beauty and youth. Truly an artist, 
sincere and simple. And Eva Le Gallienne, a charm that is 
distinctive. I recall no one else on the stage just like her. 
We renewed our acquaintance made in Los Angeles. 

I am told that she lives whatever part She is playing, on 
and off the stage. This is most interesting, but I question 
its advisability — for artistic reasons. But she is a charming 
artist, and that is the answer, I couldn't do it. I want the 
relaxation of being myself after the day's work is done. I 
am after a good dose of that relaxation now. It is not 
coming so easily. My little mustache and big shoes are 
glaring trade-marks. 

The next morning provided a delightful treat. Break- 
fast for me, luncheon for the others, at the Coffee House 
Club, a most interesting little place where artists and 
artisans belong — writers, actors, musicians, artists, sculp- 
tors, painters — all of them interesting people. I go there 
often whenever I am in New York. It was a brilliant party. 
Heywood Broun, Frank Crowninshield, Harrison Rhodes, 
Edward Knobloch, Conde Nast, Alexander Woolcott — but 
I can't remember all the names. I wish all meals were as 

I received an invitation to dine with Ambassador Gerard 
and then go for a ride in the country. The motor broke 
down, as they usually do on such occasions, and I had to 
phone and disappoint. I was sorry, because I was to meet 
some brilliant people. 

I had luncheon next day with Max Eastman, one of my 
best friends. He is a radical and a poet and editor of The 
Liberator, a charming and sympathetic fellow who thinks. 
All of his doctrines I do not 'subscribe to, but that makes no 
difference in our friendship. We get together, argue a bit, 
and then agree to disagree and let it go at that and remain 




He told me of a party that he was giving at his home 
that evening and I hastened to accept his invitation 
to attend. His home is always interesting. His friends 

What a night it was for me! I got out of myself. My 
emotions went the gamut of tears to laughter without 
artificiality. It was what I had left Los Angeles for, and 
that night Charlie Chaplin seemed very far away, and I 
felt or wanted to feel myself just a simple soul among other 

I was introduced to George, an ex-I. W. W. secretary. I 
suppose he has a last name, but I didn't know it and it 
didn't seem to matter when one met George. Here was a 
real personality. He had a light in his eyes that I have 
never seen before, a light that must have shone from his 
soul. He had the look of one who believes he is right 
and has the courage of his convictions. It is a scarce 

I learned that he had been sentenced by Judge Landis 
to serve twenty years in the penitentiary, that he had 
served two years and was out because of ill health. I did 
not learn the offense. It did not seem to matter. 

A dreamer and a poet, he became wistfully gay on this 
hectic night among kindred spirits. In a mixed crowd of 
intellectuals he stood out. 

He was going back to serve eighteen years in the peni- 
tentiary and was remaining jovial. What an ordeal! But 
ordeal signifies what it would have been for me. I don't 
believe it bothered him. I hardly believe he was there. 
He was somewhere else in the place from which that look 
in his eyes emanated. A man whose ideas are ideals. 

I pass no opinion, but with such charm one must 

It was an amusing evening. We played charades and I 
watched George act. It was all sorts of fun. We danced 
a bit. 

Then George came in imitating Woodrow. It was scream- 


ingly funny, and he threw himself into the character, or 
caricature, making Wilson seem absurdly ridiculous. We 
were convulsed with laughter. 

But all the time I couldn't help thinking that he must go 
back to the penitentiary for eighteen years. 

What a party ! 

It didn't break up until two in the morning, though 
clock or calendar didn't get a thought from me. 

We all played, danced, and acted. No one asked me tc 
walk funny, no one asked me to twirl a cane. If I wanted 
to do a tragic bit, I did, and so did everyone else. You 
were a creature of the present, not a production of the past, 
not a promise of the future. You were accepted as is, 
sans "Who's Who" labels and income-tax records. 

George asks me about my trip, but he does not interview. 
He gives me letters to George Bernard Shaw and others. 
They are great friends. 

In my puny way, sounding hollow and unconvincing, I try 
to tell George how foolish he is. He tries to explain that 
he can't help it. Like all trail blazers, he is a martyr. 
He does not rant. He blames no one. He does not rail 
at fate. 

If he believes himself persecuted, his belief is unspoken. 
He is almost Christlike as he explains to me. His viewpoint 
is beautiful, kind, and tender. 

I can't imagine what he has done to be sentenced to 
twenty years. My thought must speak. He believes he is 
spoiling my party through making me serious. He doesn't 
want that. 

He stops talking about himself. Suddenly he runs, grabs 
a woman's hat, and says, "Look, Charlie, I'm Sarah Bern- 
hardt!" and goes into a most ridiculous travesty. 

I laugh. Everyone laughs. George laughs. 

And he is going back to the penitentiary to spend eigh- 
teen of the most wonderful years of his life ! 

I can't stand it. I go out in the garden and gaze up at 
the stars. It is a wonderful night and a glorious moon is 


shining down. I wish there was something I could do for 
George. I wonder if he is right or wrong. 

Before long George joins me. He is sad and reflective, 
with a sadness of beauty, not of regret. He looks at the 
moon, the stars. He confides, how stupid is the party, any 
party, compared with the loveliness of the night. The 
silence that is a universal gift — how few of us enjoy it. 
Perhaps because it cannot be bought. Rich men buy noise. 
Souls irevel in nature's silences. They cannot be denied 
those who seek them. 

We talk of George's future. Not of his past nor of his 
offense. Can't he escape? I try to make him think logically 
toward regaining his freedom. I want to pledge my help. 
He doesn't understand, or pretends not to. He has not lost 
anything. Bars cannot imprison his spirit. 

I beg him to give himself and his life a better chance. 

He smiles. 

"Don't bother about me, Charlie. You have your work. 
Go on making the world laugh. Yours is a great task and 
a splendid one. Don't bother about me." 

We are silent. I am choked up. I feel a sort of pent-up 
helplessness. I want relief. It comes. 

The tears roll down my cheeks and George embraces me. 

There are tears in both our eyes. 

"Good-by, Charlie." 

"Good-by, George." 

What a party. Its noise disgusts me now. I call my car. 
I go back to the Ritz. 

George goes back to the "pen." 

Chuck Reisner, who played the big bully in "The Kid," 
called the next day. He wants to go to Europe. Why? 
He doesn't know. He is emotional and sensational. He is 
a pugilist and a song writer. A civil soldier of fortune. He 
doesn't like New York and thinks he wants to get back to 
California at once. 

We have breakfast together. It is a delightful meal 
because it is so different from my usual lonely breakfast. 


Chuck goes on at a great rate and succeeds in working up 
his own emotions until there are tears in his eyes. 

I promise him all sorts of things to get rid of him. He 
knows it and tells me so. We understand each other very 
well. I promise him an engagement. Tell him he can 
always get a job with me if he doesn't want too much money. 

He is indignant at some press notices that have appeared 
about me and wants to go down to newspaper row and kill 
a few reporters. He always has a chip on his shoulders 
wherever I am concerned. He fathers, mothers me in his 
rough way. 

We talk about everybody's ingratitude for what he and 
I have done for people. We have a mutual-admiration 
convention. Why aren't we appreciated more? We are 
both sour on the world and its hypocrisies. It's a great 
little game panning the world so long as you don't let your 
sessions get too long or too serious. I chased Chuck before 
that time. 

I had a luncheon engagement at the Coffee House Club 
with Frank Crowninshield, and we talked over the arrange- 
ments of a dinner which I am giving to a few intimate friends. 
Frank is my social mentor, though I care little about society 
in the general acceptance of the term. We arranged for a 
table at the Elysee Cafe and it was to be a mixed party. 

Among the guests were Max Eastman, Harrison Rhodes, 
Edward Knobloch, Mme. Maeterlinck, Alexander Woolcott, 
Douglas Fairbanks and Mary, Heywood Broun, Rita 
Weiman, and Neysa McMein, a most charming girl for whom 
I am posing. 

Frank Harris and Waldo Frank were invited, but were 
unable to attend. Perhaps there were others, but I can't 
remember, and I am sure they will forgive me if I have 
neglected to mention them. I am always confused about 
parties and arrangements. 

The last minute sets me wild. I am a very bad organizer. 
I am always leaving everything until the last minute, and 
as a rule no one shows up. 


This was the exception. For on this occasion everybody 
did turn up. And it started off Hke most parties; every- 
body was stiff and formal ; I felt a terrible failure as a 
host. But in spite of Mr. Volstead there was a bit of "golden 
water" to be had, and it saved the day. What a blessing 
at times! 

I had been worried since sending the invitations. I 
wondered how Max Eastman would mix with the others, 
but I was soon put at my ease, because Max is clever and 
is just as desirous of having a good time as anyone, in spite 
of intellectual differences. That night he seemed the 
necessary ingredient to make the party. 

The fizz water must have something of the sort of thing 
that old Ponce de Leon sought. Certainly it made us feel 
very young. Back to children we leaped for the night. 
There were games, music, dancing. And no wall flowers. 
Everyone participated. 

We began playing charades, and Doug and Mary showed 
us some clever acting. They both got on top of a table 
and made believe he was the conductor of a trolley car and 
she was a passenger. After an orgy of calling out stations 
en route the conductor came along to the passenger and 
collected her fare. Then they both began dancing around 
the floor, explaining that they were a couple of fairies 
dancing along the side of a brook, picking flowers. Soon 
Mary fell in and Douglas plunged in after her and pulled 
her up on the banks of the brook. 

That was their problem, and, guess though we would, we 
could not solve it. They gave the answer finally. It was 

Then we sang, and in Italian — at least it passed for that. 
I acted with Mme. Maeterlinck. We played a burlesque 
on the great dying scene of "Camille." But we gave it a 
touch that Dumas overlooked. 

When she coughed, I got the disease immediately, and was 
soon taken with convulsions and died instead of Camille. 

We sang some more, we danced, we got up and made 


impromptu speeches on any given subject. None were 
about the party, but on subjects like "poHtical economy," 
"the fur trade," "feminism." 

Each one would try to talk intelligently and seriously 
on a given subject for one minute. My subject was the 
"fur trade." 

I prefaced my talk by references to cats, rabbits, etc., 
and finished up by diagnosing the political situation in 

For me the party was a great success. I succeeded in 
forgetting myself for a while. I hope the rest of them 
managed to do the same thing. From the cafe the party 
went over to a little girl's house — she was a friend of Mr. 
Woolcott — and again we burst forth in music and dancing. 
We made a complete evening of it and I went to bed tired 
and exhausted about five in the morning. 

I want a long sleep, but am awakened by my lawyer at 
nine. He has packages of legal documents and papers for 
me to sign, my orders about certain personal things of 
great importance. I have a splitting headache. My boat 
is sailing at noon, and altogether, with a lawyer for a com- 
panion, it is a hideous day. 

All through the morning the telephone bell is ringing. 
Reporters. I listen several times, but it never varies. 

"Mr. Chaplin, why are you going to Europe?" 

"To get rid of interviews," I finally shout, and hang up 
the phone. Somehow, with invaluable assistance, we get 
away from the hotel and are on our way to the dock. My 
lawyer meets me there. He has come to see me off. I 
tremble, though, for fear he has more business with me. 

I am criticized by my lawyer for talking so sharply the 
first thing in the morning. That's just it. He always sees 
me the first thing in the morning. That's what makes me 

But it is too big a moment. Something is stirring within 
me. I am anxious and reluctant about leaving. My emo- 
tions are all mixed. 


It is a beautiful morning. New York looks much finer 
and nicer because I am leaving it. I am terribly troubled 
about passports and the usual procedure about declaring 
income tax, but my lawyer reassures me that he has fixed 
everything O. K. and that my name will work a lot of influ- 
ence with the American officials; but I am very dubious 
about it when I am met by the American officials at the 

I am terrified by American officials. I am extra nice to 
the officials, and to my amazement they are extra nice to 
me. Everything passes off very easily. 

As usual, my lawyer was right. He had fixed everything. 
He is a good lawyer. 

We could be such intimate friends if he wasn't. 

But I am too thrilled to give much time to pitying lawyers. 

I am going to Europe. 

The crowds, reporters, photographers, all sorts of traffic, 
pushing, shoving, opening passports, vises O. K.'d, stamped, 
in perfect, almost clocklike precision, I am shoved aboard. 

The newspaper battery pictorial and reportorial. There 
is no original note. 

"Mr, Chaplin, why are you going to Europe?" 

I feel that in this last moment I should be a bit more 
tolerant and pleasant, no matter how difficult. I bring 
forth the "prop" smile again. 

"For a vacation," I answer. 

Then they go through the standard interview form and I 
try to be obliging. 

Mrs. John Carpenter is on the boat — was also invited to 
my party, but couldn't attend — with her charming daughter, 
who has the face of an angel. Also Mr. Edward Knobloch. 
We are all photographed. Doug and Mary are there. Lots 
of people to see me off. Somehow I don't seem interested 
in them very much. My mind is pretty well occupied. I 
am trying to make conversation, but am more interested in 
the people and the boat and those who are going to travel 
with me. 


Many of the passengers on the boat are bringing their 
children that I may be introduced. I don't mind children. 

"I have seen you so many times in the pictures." I 
find myself smiling at them graciously and pleasantly, 
especially the children. 

I doubt if I am really sincere in this, as it is too early 
in the morning. Despite the fact that I love children, I 
find them difficult to meet. I feel rather inferior to them. 
Most of them have assurance, have not yet been cursed 
with self-consciousness. 

And one has to be very much on his best behavior with 
children because they detect our insincerity. I find there 
are quite a lot of children on board. 

Everyone is so pleasant, especially those left behind. 
Handkerchiefs are Waving. The boat is off. We start to 
move, the waters are churning. Am feeling very sad, 
rather regretful — think what a nice man my lawyer is. 

We turn around the bend and get into the channel. The 
crowds are but little flies now. In this fleeting dramatic 
moment there comes the feeling of leaving something very 
dear behind. 

The camera man and many of his brothers are aboard. 
I discover him as I turn around. I did not want to discover 
anyone just then. I wanted to be alone with sky and water. 
But I am still Charlie Chaplin. I must be photographed — 
and am. 

We are passing the Statue of Liberty. He asks me to wave 
and throw kisses, which rather annoys me. 

The thing is too obvious. It offends my sense of sincerity. 

The Statue of Liberty is thrilling, dramatic, a glorious 
symbol. I would feel self-conscious and cheap in deliber- 
ately waving and throwing kisses at it. I will be myself. 

I refuse. 

The incident of the photographic seeker before the Statue 
of Liberty upset me. I felt that he was trying to capitalize 
the statue. His request was deliberate, insincere. It 
offended me. It would have been like calling an audience 


to witness the placing of flowers upon a grave. Patriotism 
is too deep a feeling to depict in the posing for a photo- 
graph. Why are attempts made to parade such emotions? 
I feel glad that I have the courage to refuse. 

As I turn from the photographer I feel a sense of relief. I 
am to have a reprieve from such annoyances. Reporters for 
the while are left behind. It is a delicious sense of security. 

I am ready for the new adjustment. I am in a new 
world, a little city of its own, where there are new people 
— people who may be either pleasant or unpleasant, and 
mine is the interesting job of placing them in their proper 
category. I want to explore new lands and I feel that I 
shall have ample opportunity on such an immense ship. 
The Olympic is enormous and I conjure up all sorts of 
pleasure to be had in its different rooms — Turkish baths, 
gymnasium, music rooms — its Ritz-Carlton restaurant, 
where everything is elaborate and of ornate splendor. I 
find myself looking forward to my evening meal. 

We go to the Ritz grill to dine. Everyone is pleasant. 
I seem to sense the feel of England immediately. Foreign 
food — a change of system — the different bill of fare, with 
money in terms of pounds, shillings, and pence. And the 
dishes — pheasant, grouse, and wild duck. For the first 
time I feel the elegant gentleman, the man of means. 

I ask questions and discover that there are really some 
very interesting people aboard. But I resent anyone telling 
me about them. I want to discover them myself. I almost 
shout when some one tries to read me a passenger list. 
This is my desert island — I am going to explore it myself. 
The prospect is intriguing. I am three thousand miles from 
Hollywood and three thousand miles from Europe. For 
the moment I belong to neither. 

God be praised, I am myself. 

It is my little moment of happiness, the glorious "to-day " 
that is sandwiched in between the exhausting "yesterday" 
of Los Angeles and the portentous "to-morrow" of Europe. 

For th^ mQment I ajn content, 



I NOTICE a thoughtful-looking, studious sort of man 
seated across from us. He is reading a book, a different 
sort of book, if covers mean anything. It looks formidable, 
a sort of intellectual fodder. I wonder who he is. I weave 
all sorts of romance about him. I place him in all sorts of 
intellectual undertakings, though he may be a college pro- 
fessor. I would love to know him. I feel that he is inter- 
ested in us. I mention it to Knobloch. He keeps looking 
at us. Knobloch tells me he is Gillette, the safety-razor 
man. I feel like romancing about him more than ever. 
I wonder what he is reading? I would love to know him. 
It is our loss, I believe. And I never learned what the book 
was that he was reading. 

There are very few pretty girls aboard. I never have any 
luck that way. And it is a weakness of mine. I feel that it 
would be awfully pleasant to cross the ocean with a number 
of nice girls who were pretty and who would take me as I 
am. We listened to the music and retired early, this because 
of a promise to myself that I would do lots of reading aboard. 
I have a copy of Max Eastman's poems, colors, of life, a 
volume of treasures. I try to read them, but am too nervous. 
The type passes in parade, but I assimilate nothing, so I 
prepare to sleep and be in good shape for the morning. 
But that is also impossible. 

I am beyond sleep to-night now. I am in something new, 
something pregnant with expectation. The immediate future 
is too alluring for sleep. 


How shall I be received in England? What sort of a trip 
shall I have ? Whom shall I meet on board ? The thoughts 
chased one another round my brain and back again, all 
running into one another in their rambling. 

I get up at one o'clock. Decide to read again. This time 
H. G. Wells's Outline of History. Impossible! It doesn't 
register. I try to force it by reading aloud. It can't be done. 
The tongue can't cheat the brain, and right now reading 
is out of the question. 

I get up and go to see if Knobloch is in. He sleeps audibly 
and convincingly. He is not making his debut. 

I go back to my room. I rather feel sorry for me. If 
only the Turkish baths were open I could while a few hours 
of time away until morning. Thus I meditate. The last 
thing I remember it is four o'clock in the morning and the 
next thing eleven-thirty. I can hear a great bit of excite- 
ment going on outside my cabin door. There are a lot of 
little children there with autograph books. I tell them that 
I will sign them later and have them leave the books with 
my secretary, Tom Harrington. 

There is a composite squeal of pleasure at this and a 
sickening fear comes over me. I call Tom. He enters amid 
a raft of autograph books. I start to sign, then postpone it 
until after breakfast. 

Knobloch comes in all refreshed and with that radiant 
sort of cheerfulness that I resent in the morning. Am I 
going to get up for lunch or will I have it in my cabin? 
There is a pleading lethargy that says, "Take it in bed," 
but I cannot overcome the desire to explore and the feeling 
of expectancy of something about to happen — I was to see 
somebody or meet somebody — so I decide to have luncheon 
in the dining room. I am giving myself the emotional 
stimulus. Nothing comes off. We meet nobody. 

After lunch a bit of exercise. We run around the deck for 
a couple of miles. It brings back thoughts of the days 
when I ran in Marathon races. I feel rather self-conscious, 
however, as I am being pointed out by passengers. With 


each lap it gets worse. If there was only a place where I 
could run with nobody looking. We finally stop and lean 
against the rail. 

All the stewards are curious. They are trying to pick me 
out. I notice it and pretend not to notice it. I go up into 
the gymnasium and look around. There is every contrivance 
to give joy to healthy bodies. And best of all, nobody else 
is there. Wonderful! 

I try the weights, the rowing machine, the traveling 
rings, punch the bag a bit, swing some Indian clubs, and leap 
to the trapeze. Suddenly the place is packed. News travels 
quickly aboard ship. Some come for the purpose of exer- 
cising, like myself; others out of curiosity to watch me per- 
form. I grow careless. I don't care to go through with it. 
I put on my coat and hat and go to my room, finding that 
the old once-discarded "prop" smile is useful as I make my 
way through the crowd. 

At four o'clock we have tea. I decide that the people 
are interesting. I love to meet so many. Perhaps they are 
the same ones I hated to see come into the gym, but I feel 
no sense of being paradoxical. The gymnasium belongs to 
individuals. The tea room suggests and invites social inter- 
course. Somehow there are barriers and conventionalities 
that one cannot break, for all the vaunted "freedom of 
shipboard.". I feel it's a sort of awkward situation. How 
is it possible to meet people on the same footing? I hear 
of it, I read of it, but somehow I cannot meet people 
myself and stay myself. 

I immediately shift any blame from myself and decide 
that the first-class passengers are all snobs. I resolve to 
try the second-class or the third-class. Somehow I can't 
meet these people. I get irritable and decide deliberately 
to seek the other classes of passengers and the boat crew. 

Another walk around the deck. The salt air makes me 
feel good in spite of my mental bothers. I look over the rail 
and see other passengers, second or third class, and in one 
large group the ship's firemen and stokers. They are the' 


night force come on deck for a breath of air between working 
their shifts in the hellish heat below. 

They see and recognize me. To their coal-blackened 
faces come smiles. They shout ' ' Hooray ! " " Hello, Charlie ! ' ' 
Ah, I am discovered. But I tingle all over with pleasure. 
As those leathery faces crack into lines through the dust 
I sense sincerity. There is a friendly feeling. I warm to 

There is a game of cricket going on. That's intriguing. 
I love cricket. Wish I could try my hand at it. Wish there 
was enough spontaneity about first-cabin passengers to 
start a game. I wish I wasn't so darn self-conscious. They 
must have read my thoughts. I am invited timidly, then 
vociferously, to play a game. Their invitation cheers me. 
I feel one of them. A spirit of adventure beckons. I leap 
over the rail and right into the midst of it. 

I carry with me into the steerage just a bit of self -con- 
sciousness — there are so many trying to play upon me. 
I am looked upon as a celebrity, not a cricket player. But 
I do my part and try and we get into the game. Suddenly 
a motion-picture camera man bobs up from somewhere. 
What leeches! He snaps a picture. This gets sickening. 

One of the crew has hurriedly made himself up as " Charley 
Chaplin." He causes great excitement. This also impresses 
me. I find myself acting a part, looking surprised and in- 
terested. I am conscious of the fact that this thing has 
been done many times before. Then on second thought I 
realize it is all new to them and that they mean well, so I 
try to enter into the spirit of the thing. There comes a 
pause in the cricket game. Nobody is very much interested 
in it. ' 

I find that I have been resurrected again in character and 
am the center of attraction. There are calls, "What have 
you done with your mustache?" I look up with a grin and 
ready to answer anything they ask, these chaps who labor 
hard and must play the same way. But I see that hun- 
dreds of first-class passengers are looking down over the 


rail as though at a side show. This affects my pride, though 
I dare say I am supersensitive. I have an idea that they 
think I am "Chariie" performing for them. This irritates 
me. I throw up my hands and say, "See you to-morrow." 

One of the bystanders presents himself. "Chariie, don't 
you remember me? " I have a vague recollection of his face, 
but cannot place him. 

Now I have it, of course; we worked in some show to- 
gether. Yes, I can actually place him. He has a negative 
personality. I remernber that he played a small part, a 
chorus man or something of the sort. This brings back 
all sorts of reminiscences, some depressing and others inter- 
esting. I wonder what his life has been. I remember him 
now very plainly. He was a bad actor, poor chap. I never 
knew him very well even when we worked in the same 
company. And now he is stoking in the hold of a ship. 
I think I know what his emotions are and understand 
the reasons. I wonder whether he understands mine. 

I try to be nice, even though I discover the incident is 
not overinteresting. But I try to make it so — try harder 
just because he never meant a great deal before. But now 
it seems to take on a greater significance, the meeting with 
this chap, and I find myself being extra nice to him, or at 
least trying to be. 

Darn it all, the first-class passengers are looking on 
again, and I will not perform for them. They arouse pride, 
indignation. I have decided to become very exclusive on 
board. That's the way to treat them. 

It is five o'clock. I decide to take a Turkish bath^ Ah, 
what a difference traveling first class after the experience 
in the steerage! 

There is nothing like money. It does make life so easy. 
These thoughts come easily in the luxury of a warm bath. 
I feel a little more kindly disposed toward the first-cabin 
passengers. After all, I am an emotional cuss. 

Discover that there are some very nice people on board. 
I get into conversation with two or three. They have the 


same ideas about lots of things that I have. This discovery- 
gives me a fit of introspection and I discover that I am, 
indeed, a narrow-minded Httle pinhead. 

What peculiar sights one sees in a Turkish bath. The 
two extremes, fat and thin, and so seldom a perfect physique. 
I am a discovered man — even in my nakedness. One man 
will insist upon showing me how to do a hand balance in 
the hot room. Also a somersault and a back flip. It chal- 
lenges my nimbleness. Can I do them? Good heavens — 
no! I'm not an acrobat, I'm an actor. I am indignant. 

Then he points out the value of regular exercise, outlining 
for my benefit a daily course for me to do aboard. I don't 
want any daily course and I tell him so. 

"But," says he, "if you keep this up for a week you may 
be able to do the stunts I do." 

But I can't see it even with that prospect ahead, because 
to save my life I can't think of any use I would have for 
the hand balance, somersault, or the back flip. 

I meet another man who has maneuvered until he has me 
pinned in a comer. He shows a vital interest in Theda 
Bara. Do I know her? What sort of a person is she? 
Does she "vamp" in real life? Do I know Louise Glaum? 
He sort of runs to the vampish ladies. Do I know any of 
the old-timers? So his conversation goes depressingly on, 
with me answering mostly in the negative. 

They must think I am very dull. Why, anyone should 
know the answers to the questions, they figure. There are 
grave doubts as to whether I am Charlie Chaplin or not. 
I wish they would decide that I am not. I confess that I 
have never met Theda Bara. They return to motion 
pictures of my own. How do I think up my funny stunts? 
It is too much. Considerably against my wishes I have to 
retreat from the hot room. I want to get away from this 
terrible, strenuous experience. But retreat is not so easy. 

A little rotund individual, smiling, lets me know that he 
has seen a number of my pictures. He says: 

"I have seen you so much in 'reel' life that I wanted 


to talk to you in 'real' life." He laughs at this bright little 
sally of his and I dare say he thinks it original. The first 
time I heard it I choked on my milk bottle. 

But I grinned. I always do. He asked what I was taking 
a Turkish bath for, and I told him I was afraid of acquiring 
a bit of a stomach. I was speaking his language. He knew 
the last word in taking down stomachs. He went through 
all the stomach-reducing routine. He rolled, he slapped, 
he stretched across a couch on his stomach while he breathed 
deeply and counted a hundred. He had several other stunts, 
but I stopped him. He had given me enough ideas for a 
beginning. He got up panting, and I noticed that the 
most prominent thing about him was his stomach and that 
he had the largest stomach in the room. But he admitted 
that the exercise had fixed him O. K. 

Eventually he glanced down at my feet. "Good heavens! 
I always thought you had big feet. Have you got them 
insured?" I can stand it no longer. I burst through the 
door into the cooling room and on to the slab. 

At last I am where I can relax. The masseur is an Eng- 
lishman and has seen most of my pictures. He talks about 
"Shoulder Arms." He mentions things in my pictures 
that I never remembered putting there. He had always 
thought I was a pretty muscular guy, but was sadly dis- 

"How do you do your funny falls?" He is surprised that 
I am not covered with bruises. Do I know Clara Kimball 
Young? Are most of the people in pictures immoral? 

I make pretenses. I am asleep. I am very tired. An 
audience has drifted in and I hear a remark about my feet. 
I am manhandled and punched and then handed on into 
another room. 

At last I can relax. I am about to fall asleep when one 
of the passengers asks if I would mind signing my autograph 
for him. But I conquer them. Patience wins and I fall 
asleep to be awakened at seven o'clock and told to get out 
of the bath. 


I dress for dinner. We go into the smoking room. I 
meet the demon camera man. I do not know him, as he 
is dressed up Uke a regular person. We get into conversa- 
tion. Well, hardly conversation. He talks. 

"Listen, Charlie, I am very sorry, but I've been assigned 
to photograph you on this trip. Now we might as well 
get to know each other and make it easy for both of us, so 
the best thing to do is to let's do it fully and get it over 
with. Now, let's see, I'll take to-morrow and part of the 
next day. I want to photograph you with the third-class 
passengers, then the second-class, and have you shown 
playing games on deck. If you have your make-up and 
your mustache, hat, shoes, and cane,.it will be all the better." 

I call for help. He will have to see my personal repre- 
sentative, Mr. Robinson. 

He says, "I won't take no for an answer." 

And I let him know that the only thing he isn't going to 
do on the trip is to photograph me. I explain that it would 
be a violation of contract with the First National exhibitors. 

"I have been assigned to photograph you and I'm going 
to photograph you," he says. And then he told me of his 
other camera conquests, of his various experiences with 
politicians who did not want to be photographed. 

"I had to break through the palace walls to photograph 
the King of England, but I got him. Also had quite a time 
with Foch, but I have his face in celluloid now." And he 
smiled as he deprecatingly looked up and down my some- 
what small and slight figure. 

This is the last straw. I defy him to photograph me. 
For from now on I have made up my mind that I am going 
to lock myself in my cabin — I'll fool him. 

But my whole evening is spoiled. I go to bed cursing 
the motion-picture industry, the makers of film, and those 
responsible for camera men. Why did I take the trip? 
What is it all for? It has gotten beyond me already and 
it is my trip, my vacation. 

It is early, and I decide to read a bit. I pick up a booklet 


of poems by Clause McKay, a young negro poet who is 
writing splendid verse of the inspired sort. Reading a few 
of his gems, my own annoyances seem puny and almost 
I read: 

The Tropics of New York 

Bananas ripe and green, and ginger root, 

Cocoa in pods and alligator pears, 
And tangerines and mangoes and grapefruit, 

Fit for the highest prize at parish fairs. 

See in the windows, bringing memories 

Of fruit trees, laden by low-singing rills, 
And dewy dawns and mystical blue skies 

In benediction over nimlike hills. 

Mine eyes grow dim and ,1 could no more gaze. 

A wave of longing through my body swept. 
And a hunger for the old, familiar ways; 

I turned aside and bowed my head and wept. 

I read again: 

Lovely, dainty Spanish Needle, 
With your yellow flower and white; 

Dew-bedecked and softly sleeping; 
Do you think of me to-night? 

Shadowed by the spreading mango 
Nodding o'er the rippling stream. 

Tell me, dear plant, of my childhood, 
Do you of the exile dream? 

Do you see me by the brook's side, 
Catching grayfish 'neath the stone, 

As you did the day you whispered: 
"Leave the harmless dears alone?" 

Do you see me in the meadow, 
Coming from the woodland spring, 

With a bamboo on my shoulder 
And a pail slung from a string? 


Do you see me, all expectant, 

Lying in an orange grove, 
While the swee-swees sing above me 

Waiting for my elf -eyed love? 

Lovely, dainty Spanish Needle; 

Source to me of sweet delight, 
In your far-off sunny southland 

Do you dream of me to-night? 

I am passing this along because I don't believe it is pub- 
lished in this country, and I feel as though I am extending 
a rare treat. They brought me better rest that night — a 
splendid sleep. 

Next morning there were more autograph books and 
several wireless messages from intimate friends wishing 
me bon voyage. They are all very interesting. 

Also there are about two htmdred ship postcards. Would 
I mind signing them for the stewards? I am feeling very 
good-natured and I enjoy signing anything this morning. 
I pass the forenoon till lunch time. 

I really feel as though I haven't met anybody. They 
say that barriers are lowered aboard ship, but not for me. 

Ed Knobloch and I keep very much to ourselves. But 
all the time I have been sort of wondering what became 
of the beautiful opera singer who came aboard and was 
photographed with me. I wonder if being photographed 
together constitutes an introduction? I have not seen her 
since the picture. 

We get seats in deck chairs. Knobloch and myself. 
Ed is busy reading Economic Democracy by some one im- 
portant. I have splendid intentions of reading Wells's 
Outline of History. My intentions falter after a few para- 
graphs. I look at the sea, at people passing all around the 
ship. Every once in a while I glance at Knobloch, hoping 
that he is overcome by his book and that he will look up, 
but Knobloch apparently has no such intention. 

Suddenly I notice, about twenty chairs away, the beauti- 
ful singer. I don't know why I always have this peculiar 


embarrassment that grips me now. I am trying to make up 
my mind to go over and make myself known. No, such an 
ordeal would be too terrific. The business of making one- 
self known is a problem. Here she is within almost speaking 
distance and I am not sure whether I shall meet her or not. 
I glance away again. She is looking in my direction. I 
pretend not to see her and quickly turn my head and get 
into conversation with Knobloch, who thinks I have suddenly 
gone insane. 

"Isn't that lady the opera singer?" I ask. 


That about expresses his interest. 

"Shouldn't we go over and make ourselves known?" I 

"By all means, if you wish it." And he is up and off 
almost before I can catch my breath. 

We get up and walk around the deck. I just do not know 
how to meet people. At last the moment comes in the 
smoking room, where they are having "log auction." She 
is with two gentlemen. We meet. She introduces one as 
her husband, the other as a friend'. 

She reprimands me for not speaking to her sooner. I 
try to pretend that I had not seen her. This amuses her 
mightily and she becomes charming. We become fast 
friends. Both she and her husband join us at dinner the 
following night. We recall mutual friends. Discover that 
there are quite a lot of nice people aboard. She is Mme. 
Namara and in private life Mrs. Guy Bolton, wife of the 
author of "Sally." They are on their way to London, where 
he is to witness the English opening of "Sally." We have 
a delightful evening at dinner and then later in their cabin. 



EVERYTHING sails along smoothly and delightfully 
until the night of the concert for the seaman's fund. 
This entertainment is customary on all liners and usually 
is held on the last night out. The passengers provide the 

I am requested to perform. The thought scares me. It 
is a great tragedy, and, much as I would like to do some- 
thing, I am too exhausted and tired. I beg to be excused, 
I never like making appearances in public. I find that they 
are always disappointing. 

I give all manner of reasons for not appearing — one that 
I have no particular thing to do, nothing arranged for, 
that it is against my principles because it spoils illusion — 
especially for the children. When they see me minus my 
hat, cane, and shoes, it is like taking the whiskers off Santa 
Claus. And not having my equipment with me, I feel very- 
conscious of this. I am always self-conscious when meeting 
children without my make-up for that very reason. I must 
say the officers were very sympathetic and understood my 
reasons for not wanting to appear, and I can assure you that 
the concert was a distinct success without me. There were 
music and recitations and singing and dancing, and one 
passenger did a whistling act, imitating various birds and 
animals, also the sawing of wood, with the screeching sound 
made when the saw strikes a knot. It was very effective. 

I watched and enjoyed the concert immensely until near 


the end, when the entertainment chairman announced that 
I was there and that if the audience urged strongly enough 
I might do something for them. This was very discon- 
certing, and after I had explained that I was physically 
exhausted and had nothing prepared I am sure the audience 
understood. The chairman, however, announced that it 
did not matter, as they could see Charlie Chaplin at any 
time for a nickel — and that's that. 

The next day is to be the last aboard. We are approaching 
land. I have got used to the boat and everybody has got 
used to me. I have ceased to be a curiosity. They have 
taken me at my face value — face without mustache and 
kindred make-up. We have exchanged addresses, cards, 
invitations; have made new friends, met a lot of charming 
people, names too numerous to mention. 

The lighter is coming out. The top deck is black with 
men. Somebody tells me they are French and British 
camera men coming to welcome me. I am up on the top 
deck, saying good-by to Mme. Namara and her husband. 
They are getting off at Cherbourg. We are staying aboard. 

Suddenly there is an avalanche. All sorts and conditions 
of men armed with pads, pencils, motion-picture cameras, 
still cameras. There is an embarrassing pause. They are 
looking for Charlie Chaplin. Some have recognized me. 
I see them searching among our little group. Eventually 
I am pointed out. 

"Why, here he is!" 

My friends suddenly become frightened and desert me. 
I feel very much alone, the victim. Square-headed gentle- 
men with manners different — they are raising their hats. 

"Do I speak French?" Some are speaking in French to 
me. It means nothing. I am bewildered. Others English. 
They all seem too curious to even do their own business. 
I find that they are personally interested. Camera men 
are forgetting to shoot their pictures. 

But they recover themselves after their curiosity has 
been gratified. Then the deluge: 


"Are you visiting in London?" 

"Why did you come over?" 

"Did you bring your make-up?" 

"Are you going to make pictures over here?" 

Then from Frenchmen : 

"Will I visit France?" 

"Am I going to Russia?" 

I try to answer them all. 

"Will you visit Ireland?" 

"I don't expect to do so." 

"What do you think of the Irish question?" 

"It requires too much thought." 

"Are you a Bolshevik?" 

"I am an artist, not a politician." 

"Why do you want to visit Russia?" 

"Because I am interested in any new idea." 

"What do you think of Lenin?" 

"I think him a very remarkable man." 


"Because he is expressing a new idea." 

"Do you believe in Bolshevism?" 

"I am not a politician." 

Others ask me to give them a message to France. A 
message to London. What have I to say to the people of 
Manchester? Will I meet Bernard Shaw? Will I meet 
H. G. Wells? Is it true that I am going to be knighted? 
How would I solve the unemployment problem? 

In the midst of all this a rather mysterious gentleman 
pulls me to one side and tells me that he knew my father 
intimately and acted as agent for him in his music-hall 
engagements. Did I anticipate working? If so, he could 
get me an engagement. Would I give him the first oppor- 
tunity? Anyway, he was very pleased to meet me. If I 
wanted a nice quiet rest I could come down to his place and 
spend a few days with my kind of people, the people I liked. 

I am rescued by my secretaries, who insist that I go to 
my cabin and lie down. Anything the newspaper men 


have to ask they will answer for me. I am dragged away 

Is this what I came six thousand miles for? Is this rest? 
Where is that vacation that I pictured so vividly? 

I lie down and nap until dinner time. I have dinner in 
my cabin. Now comes another great problem. 

Tipping. One has the feeling that if you are looked at 
you should tip. One thing that I believe in, though — 
tipping. It gets you good service. It is money well spent. 
But when and how to tip — that is the question. It is a 
great problem on shipboard. 

There's the bedroom steward, the waiter, the head waiter, 
the hallboy, the deck steward, boots, bathroom steward, 
Turkish bath attendants, gymnasium instructor, smoking- 
room steward, lounge-room steward, page boys, elevator 
boys, barber. It is depressing. I am harassed as to 
whether to tip the doctor and the captain. 

I am all excited now; full of expectancy. Wonder what's 
going to happen. After my first encounter with fifty news- 
paper men at Cherbourg, somehow I do not resent it. Rather 
like it, in fact. Being a personage is not so bad. I am pre- 
pared for the fray. It is exciting. I am advancing on 
Europe. One o'clock. I am in my cabin. We are to dock 
in the morning. 

I look out the porthole. I hear voices. They are along- 
side the dock. Am very emotional now. The mystery of 
it out there in blackness envelops me. I revel in it — its 
promise. We are at Southampton. We are in England. 

To-morrow! I go to bed thinking of it. To-morrow! 

I try to sleep, childishly reasoning that in sleeping I will 
make the time pass more quickly. My reasoning was sound, 
perhaps, but somewhere in my anatomy there slipped a 
cog. I could not sleep. I rolled and tossed, counted sheep, 
closed my eyes and lay perfectly still, but it was no go. 
Somewhere within me there stirred a sort of Christmas 
Eve feeling. To-morrow was too portentous. 

I look at my watch. It is two o'clock in the morning. I 


look through the porthole. It is pitch dark outside. I try- 
to pierce the darkness, but can't. Off in the distance I 
hear voices coming out of the night. That and the lapping 
of the waves against the side of the boat. 

Then I hear my name mentioned once, twice, three 
times. I am thrilled. I tingle with expectancy and varying 
emotions. It is all so peculiar and mysterious. I try to 
throw off the feeling. I can't. 

There seems to be no one awake except a couple of men 
who are pacing the deck. Longshoremen, probably. Every 
once in a while I hear the mystic "Charlie Chaplin" men- 
tioned. I peer through the porthole. It is starting to rain. 
This adds to the spell. I turn out the lights and get back 
in bed and try to sleep. I get up again and look out. 

I call Robinson. "Can you sleep?" I ask. 

"No. Let's get up and dress." It's got him, too. 

We get up and walk around the top deck. There is a 
curious mixture of feelings all at once. I am thrilled and 
depressed. I cannot understand the depression. We keep 
walking around the deck, looking over the side. People 
are looking up, but they don't recognize me in the night. 
I feel myself speculating, wondering if it is going to be the 
welcome I am expecting. 

Scores of messages have been arriving all day. 

"Will you accept engagements?" "Will you dine with 
us?" "How about a few days in the country?" I cannot 
possibly answer them all. Not receiving replies, they send 
wireless messages to the captain. 

"Mr. Lathom, is Mr. Chaplin on board?" "Has my 
message been delivered?" 

I have never received so many messages. "Will you 
appear on Tuesday?" "Will you dine here?" "Will you 
join a revue?" "Are you open for engagements?" "I am 
the greatest agent in the world." 

One of the messages is from the mayor of Southampton, 
welcoming me to that city. Others from heads of the 
motion-picture industry in Europe. This is a source of 


great worriment. Welcomed by the mayor. It will prob- 
ably mean a speech. I hate speeches, I can't make them. 
This is the worst specter of the night. 

In my sleeplessness I go back to my cabin and try to 
write down what I shall say, trying to anticipate what the 
mayor will say to me. I picture his speech of welcome. 
A masterpiece of oratory brought forth after much prepara- 
tion by those who are always making speeches. It is their 
game, this speechmaking, and I know I shall appear a 
hopeless dub with my reply. 

But I attack it valiantly. I write sentence after sentence 
and then practice before the mirror. 

"Mr. Mayor and the people of Southampton." The face 
that peers back at me from the mirror looks rather silly. 
I think of Los Angeles and wonder how they would take 
my speech there. But I persevere. I write more. I over- 
come that face in the looking-glass to such an extent that 
I want a wider audience. 

I call Carl Robinson. I make him sit still and listen. 
I make my speech several times. He is kind the first time 
and the second time, but after that he begins to get fidgety. 
He makes suggestions. I take out some lines and put in 
others. I decide that it is prepared and leave it. I am to 
meet the mayor in the morning at eight o'clock. 

Eventually I get to bed and asleep, a fitful, tossing 
sleep. They wake me in the morning. People are outside 
my door. Carl comes in. 

"The mayor is upstairs waiting for you." I am twenty 
minutes late. This adds to my inefficiency. 

I am pushed and tumbled into my clothes, then taken 
by the arm, as if I were about to be arrested, and led from 
my cabin. Good Lord! I've forgotten my slip — my speech, 
my answer to the mayor, with its platform gestures that I 
had labored with during the long night. I believed that I 
had created some new gestures never before attempted on 
platform, or in pulpit, but I was lost without my copy. 

But there is little time for regrets. It doesn't take long 


to reach any place when that place is holding something 
fearful for you. I was before the mayor long before I was 
ready to see him. 

This mayor wasn't true to type. He was more like a 
schoolmaster. Very pleasant and concise, with tortoise- 
shell rims to his glasses and with none of the ornaments of 
chain and plush that I had anticipated as part of the 
regalia of his office. This was somewhat of a relief. 

There are lots of men, women, and children gathered 
about. I am introduced to the children. I am whirled 
around into the crowd, and when I turn back I can't quite 
make out who is the niayor. There seems to be a roomful 
of mayors. Eventually I am dug from behind. I turn. 
I am whirled back by friendly or official assistance. Ah, 
here is the mayor. 

I stand bewildered, twirling my thumbs, quite at a loss 
as to what is expected of me. 

The mayor begins. I have been warned that it is going 
to be very formal. 

"Mr. Chaplin, on behalf of the citizens of Southampton — " 

Nothing like I had anticipated. I am trying to think. 
Trying to hear precisely what he says. I think I have 
him so far. But it is nothing like I had anticipated. My 
speech doesn't seem to fit what he is saying. I can't help 
it. I will use it anyhow, at least as much as I can recall. 

It is over. I mumble some inane appreciation. Nothing 
like I had written, with nary a gesture so laboriously 

There comes interruptions of excited mothers with their 

"This is my little girl." 

I am shaking hands mechanically with everybody. From 
all sides autograph albums are being shoved under my 
nose. Carl is warding them off, protecting me as much 
as possible. 

I am aware that the mayor is still standing there. I am 
trying to think of something more to say. All visions of 


language seem to have left me. I find myself mumbling, 
"This is nice of you" and "I am very glad to meet you all." 

Somebody whispers in my ear, "Say something about 
the English cinema." "Say a word of welcome to the 
English." I try to and can't utter a word, but the same 
excitement that had bothered me now comes forward to 
my aid. 

The formal handshaking is on. 

The mayor introduces his wife. After shaking hands 
with her I decide that it is all a conspiracy to introduce 
me to his whole family. 

"This is my niece, my nephew, his wife, their children, 
my father-in-law," and dozens of others. I could quite 
understand why he was the mayor. They were all relatives. 
He had the vote of the city tied up in his family tree. 

The whole thing is bewildering and thrilling and I find 
that I am pleased with it all. 

But now strange faces seem to fade out and familiar ones 
take their places. There is Tom Geraghty, who used to 
be Doug Fairbanks's scenario writer. He wrote "When the 
Clouds Roll By" and "The Mollycoddle." Tom is a great 
friend of mine and we have spent many a pleasant hour in 
Doug's home in Los Angeles. There is Donald Crisp, who 
played Battling Burrows in "Broken Blossoms," a club- 
mate in the Los Angeles Athletic Club. My cousin, Aubrey 
Chaplin, a rather dignified gentleman, but with all the 
earmarks of a Chaplin, greets me. 

Heavens! I look something like him. I picture myself 
in another five years. Aubrey has a saloon in quite a respec- 
table part of London. I feel that Aubrey is a nice simple 
soul and quite desirous of taking me in hand. 

Then Abe Breman, manager of the United Artists' affairs 
in England. And there is "Sonny," a friend in the days 
when I was on the stage. I have not heard from him in 
ten years. It makes me happy and interested, the thought 
of reviving the old friendship. 

We talk of all sorts of subjects. Sonny is prosperous 


and doing well. He tells me everything in jerky asides, as 
we are hustled about amidst the baggage and bundled into 
a compartment that somebody has arranged. 

Somehow the crowds here are not so large as I had antici- 
pated. I am a little shocked. What if they don't turn up? 
Everyone has tried to impress upon me the size of the recep- 
tion I am to get. There is a tinge of disappointment, but 
then I am informed that, the boat being a day late, the 
crowd expected had no way of knowing when I would 

This explanation relieves me tremendously, though it is 
not so much for myself that I feel this, but for my com- 
panions and my friends, who expect so much. I feel that 
the whole thing should go off with a bang for their sake. 
Yes, I do. 

But I am in England. There is freshness. There is glow. 
There is nature in its most benevolent mood. The trains, 
those little toy trains with the funny little wheels like those 
on a child's toy. There are strange noises. They come 
from the engine — snorting, explosive sounds, as though it 
was clamoring for attention. 

I am in another world. Southampton, though I have 
been there before, is absolutely strange to me. There is 
nothing familiar. I feel as though I am in a foreign country. 
Crowds, increasing with every minute. What lovely women, 
different from American women. How, why, I cannot tell. 

There is a beautiful girl peering at me, a lovely English 
type. She comes to the carriage and in a beautiful, musical 
voice says, "May I have your signature, Mr. Chaplin?" 
This is thrilling. Aren't English girls charming? She is 
just the type you see in pictures, something like Hall Caine's 
Gloria in The Christian — beautiful auburn hair, about 

Seventeen ! What an age ! I was that once — and here, in 
England. It seems very long ago. 

Tom Geraghty and the bunch, we are all so excited we 
don't know just what to do or how to act. We cannot 


collect ourselves. Bursting with pent-up questions of years 
of gathering, overflowing with important messages for one 
another, we are talking about the most commonplace 
things. I find that I am not listening to them, nor they 
to me. I am just taking it all in, eyes and ears. 

An English "bobby." Everything is different. Taking 
the tickets. The whole thing is upside down. The locking 
us in our compartment. I look at the crowds. The same 
old "prop" smile is working. They smile. They cheer. 
I wave my hat. I feel silly, but it seems that they like it. 
Will the train never start ? I want to see something outside 
the station. 

I want to see the country. They are all saying things. I 
do not know what they all think of me, my friends. I wish 
they were not here. I would love to be alone so that I could 
get it all. 

We are moving. I sit forward as though to make the train 
go faster. I want a sight of Old England. I want more 
than a sight. 

Now I see the English country. New houses going up 
everywhere. New types for laboring men. More new 
houses. I have never seen Old England in such a frenzy of 
building. The brush fields are rather burned up. This is 
sc>mething new for England, for it is always so green. It 
is not as green as it used to be. But it is England, and I am 
loving every mile of it. 

I discover that everything is Los Angeles in my compart- 
ment, with the exception of my cousin and Sonny. Here I 
am in the midst of Hollywood. I have traveled six thousand 
miles to get away from Hollywood. Motion pictures are 
universal. You can't run away from them. But I am not 
bothering much, because I am cannily figuring on shaking 
the whole lot of them after the usual dinner and getting off 
by myself. 

And I am getting new thrills every minute. There are 
people waiting all along the line, at small stations, waiting 
for the train to pass. I know they are waiting to see me. 


It's a wonderful sensation — everybody so affectionate. Gee ! 
I am wondering what's going to happen in London? 

Aubrey and the bunch are talking about making a strong- 
arm squad around me for protection. I intimately feel that 
it is not going to be necessary. They say: "Ah, you don't 
know, my boy. Wait until you get to London." 

Secretly, I am hoping it is true. But I have my doubts. 
Everybody is nice. They suggest that I should sleep awhile, 
as I look tired. I feel that I am being pampered and spoiled. 
But I like it. And they all seem to understand. 

My cousin interests me. He warns me what to talk about. 
At first I felt a little conscious in his presence. A little sen- 
sitive. His personality — how it mixes with my American 
friends. I sense that I am shocking him with my American 
points of view. 

He has not seen me in ten years. I know that I am altered. 
I sort of want to pose before him a little. I want to shock 
him; no, not exactly shock him, but surprise him. I find 
myself deliberately posing and just for him. I want to be 
different, and I want him to know that I am a different 
person. This is having its effect. 

Aubrey is bewildered. I am sure that he doesn't know 
me. I feel that I am not acting according to his schedule. 
It encourages me. 

I become radical in my ideas. Against his conservatism. 
But I am beginning not to like this performing for him. 
One feels so conscious. I am wondering whether he will 
understand. There are lots of other people I have got to 
meet. I won't be able to devote all my time to him. I 
shall have a long talk with Aubrey later and explain every- 
thing. I doze off for a while. 

But just for a moment. We are coming to the outskirts 
of London. I hear nothing, I see nothing, but I know it is 
so and I awake. Now I am all expectancy. We are entering 
the suburbs of the city. 



LONDON ! There are familiar buildings. This is thrilling. 
The same buildings. They have not altered. I ex- 
pected that England would be altered. It isn't. It's the 
same. The same as I left it, in spite of the war. I see no 
change, not even in the manner of the people. 

There's Dalton's Potteries! And look, there's the Queen's 
Head! Public house that my cousin used to own. I point 
it out to him decidedly, but he reminds me that he has a 
much better place now. Now we are coming into the cut. 
Can it be true ? I can see two or three familiar stores. This 
train is going too fast. I want more time with these dis- 
coveries. I find my emotions almost too much for me. I 
have more sentiment about the buildings than I have the 

The recognition of these localities! There is a lump 
rising in my throat from somewhere. It is something inex- 
plicable. They are there, thank God ! 

If I could only be alone with it all. With it as it is, and 
with it as I would people it with ghosts of yesterday. I 
wish these people weren't in the compartment. I am afraid 
of my emotions. 

The dear old cut. We are getting into it now. Here we 
are. There are all conceivable kinds of noises, whistles, 
etc. Crowds, throngs lined up on the platforms. Here 
comes a police sergeant looking for a culprit. He looks 
straight at me. Good Lord! I am going to be arrested! 
But no, he smiles. 


A shout, "There he is!" 

Previous to this we had made resolutions. ' ' Don't forget 
we are all to lock arms, Knobloch, my cousin, Robinson, 
Geraghty, and myself." 

Immediately I get out of the train, however, we somehow 
get disorganized and our campaign maneuver is lost. Police- 
men take me by each arm. There are motion-picture men, 
still-camera men. I see a sign announcing that motion 
pictures of my trip on board ship will be shown that night 
at a picture theater. That dogged photographer of the boat 
must have gotten something in spite of me. 

I am walking along quite the center of things. I feel like 
royalty. I find I am smiling. A regular smile. I distinguish 
distant faces among those who crowd about me. There are 
voices at the end of the platform. 

"Here he is. He is there, he is. That's him." My step 
is lightning gay. I am enjoying each moment. I am in 
Waterloo station, London. 

The policemen are very excited. It is going to be a ter- 
rible ordeal for them. Thousands are outside. This also 
thrills me. Everything is beyond my expectations. I revel 
in it secretly. They all stop to applaud as I come to the 
gate. Some of them say : 

"Well done, Charlie." I wonder if they mean my present 
stunt between the bobbies. It is too much for me. 

What have I done? I feel like a cricketer who has made 
a hundred and is going to the stand. There is real warm 
affection. Do I deserve even a part of it? 

A young girl rushes out, breaks the line, makes one leap, 
and smothers me with a kiss. Thank God, she is pretty. 
There seem to be others ready to follow her, and I find my- 
self hesitating a bit on my way. It is a signal. The barriers 
are broken. 

They are coming on all sides. Policemen are elbowing 
and pushing. Girls are shrieking. 

"Charlie! Charlie! There he is! Good luck to you, 
Charlie. God bless you." Old men, old women, girls, boys. 


all in one excited thrill. My friends are missing. We are 
fighting our way through the crowd. I do not mind it at all. 
I am being carried on the crest of a wave. Everybody is 
working but me. There seems to be no effort. I am enjoying 
it — lovely. 

Eventually we get through to the street. It is worse 
here. "Hooray!" "Here he is!" "Good luck, Charlie!" 
' ' Well done, Chariie ! " " God bless you. God love you ! " 
"Good luck, Charlie!" Bells are ringing. Handkerchiefs 
are waving. Some are raising their hats. I have lost mine. 
I am bewildered, at a loss, wondering where it is all leading 
to, but I don't care. I love to stay in it. 

Suddenly there is a terrific crash. Various currents of 
the crowd are battling against one another. I find that now 
I am concerned about my friends. Where's Tom? Where's 
So-and-so? Where's Carl? Where's my cousin? I'm asking 
it all aloud, on all sides, of anyone who will listen to me. 
I am answered with smiles. 

I am being pushed toward an automobile. 

"Where's my cousin?" Another push. 

Policemen on all sides. I am pushed and lifted and 
almost dumped into the limousine. My hat is thrown in 
behind me. There are three policemen on each side of the 
car, standing on the running board. I can't get out. They 
are telling the chauffeur to drive on. He seems to be driving 
right over the people. Occasionally a head, a smiling face, 
a hand, a hat flashes by the door of the car. I ask and keep 
asking, "Where's my cousin?" 

But I regain myself, straighten my clothes, cool off a bit, 
and look round. There is a perfect stranger in the limousine 
with me. I seem to take him for granted for the moment. 
He is also cut up and bleeding. Evidently he is somebody. 
He must be on the schedule to do something. He looks 
bewildered and confused. 

I say, "Well — I have missed my cousin." 

He says, ' ' I beg your pardon, I have not been introduced 
to .you." 


"Do you know where we are going?" I ask. 

He says, "No." 

"Well, what are you doing — Who are you?" 1 splutter. 

"No one in particular," he answers. "I have been pushed 
in here against my will. I think it was the second time you 
cried for your cousin. One of the cops picked me, but I 
don't believe there is any relationship." 

We laugh. That helps. We pull up and he is politely 
let off at the corner. As quickly as possible he is shut out. 
Crowds are around on both sides, raising their hats English 
fashion, as though they were meeting a lady. The mounted 
policemen leave us. I am left alone with my thoughts. 

If I could only do something. Solve the unemployment 
problem or make some grand gesture, in answer to all this. 
I look through the window in the back of the car. There 
are a string of taxis following behind. In the lead, seated 
on top of the cab, is a young and pretty girl all dressed 
in scarlet. She is waving to me as she chases. What a 
picture she makes! I think what good fun it would be 
to get on top of the cab with her and race around through 
the country. 

I feel like doing something big. What an opportunity 
for a politician to say something and do something big! 
I never felt such affection. We are going down York Road. 
I see placards, "Charlie Arrives." Crowds standing on the 
corner, all lined up along my way to the hotel. I am begin- 
ning to wonder what it's all about. 

Am feeling a bit reflective, after all; thinking over what 
I have done, it has not been very much. Nothing to call 
forth all this. "Shoulder Arms" was pretty good, perhaps, 
but all this clamor over a moving-picture actor! 

Now we are passing over Westminster Bridge. There are 
double-decked street cars. There's one marked "Kenn- 

I want to get out and get on it — I want to go to Kenn- 
ington. The bridge is so small; I always thought it was 
much wider. We are held up by traffic. The driver tells 


the bobby that CharHe ChapHn is inside. There is a change 
in the expression of the cop. 

"On your way." 

By this time the policemen have dropped off the side of 
the car and are on their way back. Once more I am a private 
citizen. I am just a bit sad at this. Being a celebrity has 
its nice points. 

There is an auto with a motion-picture camera on top of 
it photographing our car. I tell the driver to put down the 
top. Why didn't we do this before? I wanted to let the 
people see. It seemed a shame to hide in this way. I wanted 
to be seen. There are little crowds on the street corners 

Ah yes, and Big Ben. It looks so small now. It was so 
big before I went away. We are turning up the Haymarket. 
People are looking and waving from their windows. I wave 
back. Crowded streets. We are nearing the Ritz, where I 
am to stop. 

The crowds are much denser here. I am at a loss. I don't 
know what to do, what to say. I stand up. I wave and 
bow at them, smile at them, and go through the motions of 
shaking hands, using my own hands. Should I say some- 
thing? Can I say anything? I feel the genuineness of it 
all, a real warmth. It is very touching. This is almost 
too much for me. I am afraid I am going to make a 

I stand up. The crowd comes to a hush. It is attentive. 
They see I am about to say something. I am surprised at 
my own voice. I can hear it. It is quite clear and distinct, 
saying something about its being a great moment, etc. But 
tame and stupid as it is, they like it. 

There is a " Hooray ! " " Good boy, Charlie ! " 

Now the problem is how am I going to get out of this? 
The police are there, pushing and shoving people aside to 
make way, but they are outnumbered. There are motion- 
picture cameras, cameras on the steps. The crowds close 
in. Then I step out. They close in. I am still smiling. 

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I try to think of something useful, learned from my experi- 
ence at the New York opening of "The Three Musketeers." 
But I am not much help to my comrades. 

Then as we approach, the tide comes in toward the gates 
of the hotel. They have been kept locked to prevent the 
crowd from demolishing the building. I can see one intrepid 
motion-picture-camera fan at the door as the crowd starts 
to swarm. He begins to edge in, and starts grinding his 
camera frantically as he is lifted into the whirlpool of human- 
ity. But he keeps turning, and his camera and himself are 
gradually turned up to the sky, and his lens is registering 
nothing but clouds as he goes down turning — the most hon- 
orable fall a camera man can have, to go down grinding. I 
wonder if he really got any pictures. 

In some way my body has been pushed, carried, lifted, and 
projected into the hotel. I can assure you that through no 
action of mine was this accomplished. I am immediately 
introduced to some English nobleman. The air is electric. 
I feel now I am free. Everybody is smiling. Everybody is 
interested. I am shown to a suite of rooms. 

I like the hotel lobby. It is grand. I am raced to my room. 
There are bouquets of flowers from two or three English 
friends whom I had forgotten. There come cards. I want to 
welcome them all. Do not mind in the least. Am out for 
the whole day of it. The crowds are outside. The manager 
presents himself. Everything has been spread to make my 
stay as happy as possible. 

The crowd outside is cheering. What is the thing to do? 
I had better go to the window. I raise my hands again. I 
pantomime, shake hands with myself, throw them kisses. 
I see a bouquet of roses in the room. I grab it and start 
tossing the flowers into the crowd. There is a mad scramble 
for the souvenirs. In a moment the chief of police bursts 
into my room. 

"Please, Mr. Chaplin, it is very fine, but don't throw any- 
thing. You will cause an accident. They will be crushed 
and killed. Anything but that, don't throw anything. If 


you don't mind, kindly refrain from throwing anything." 
Excitedly he repeats his message over and over again. 

Of course I don't mind; the flowers are all gone, anyway. 
But I am theatrically concerned. "Ah, really I am so sorry. 
Has anything happened?" I feel that everything is all 

The rest of my friends arrive all bruised and cut up. 
Now that the excitement has died down, what are we going 
to do ? For no reason at all we order a meal. Nobody is 
hungry. I want to get out again. Wish I could. 

I feel that everybody ought to leave immediately. I want 
to be alone. I want to get out and escape from all crowds. 
I want to get over London, over to Kennington, all by my- 
self. I want to see some familiar sights. Here baskets of 
fruit keep pouring in, fresh bouquets, presents, trays full of 
cards, some of them titles, some well-known names — all 
paying their respects. Now I am muddled. I don't know 
what to do first. There is too much waiting. I have too 
much of a choice. 

But I must get over to Kennington, and to-day. I am 
nervous, overstrung, tense. Crowds are still outside. I 
must go again and bow and wave my hands. I am used to 
it, am doing it mechanically; it has no effect. Lunch is 
ordered for everybody. Newspaper men are outside, visitors 
are outside. I tell Carl to get them to put it off until 
to-morrow. He tells them that I aim tired, need a rest, 
for them to call to-morrow and they will be given an 

The bishop of something presents his compliments. He 
is in the room when I arrive. I can't hear what he is saying. 
I say yes, I shall be delighted. We sit down to lunch. What 
a crowd there is eating with me! I am not quite sure I 
know them all. 

Everyone is making plans for me. This irritates me. My 
cousin, Tom Geraghty, Knobloch — would I spend two or 
three days in the country and get a rest ? No. I don't want 
to rest. Will you see somebody? I don't want to see any- 


body. I want to be left entirely alone. I've just got to 
have my whim. 

I make a pretense at lunch. I whisper to Carl, "You ex- 
plain everything to them — tell them that I am going out 
immediately after lunch." I am merely taking the lunch to 
discipline myself. 

I look out the window. The crowds are still there. What 
a problem ! How am I going to get out without being recog- 
nized? Shall I openly suggest going out, so I can get away? 
I hate disappointing them. But I must go out. 

Tom Geraghty, Donald Crisp, and myself suggest taking 
a walk. I do not tell them my plans, merely suggest taking 
the walk. We go through the back way and escape. I am 
sure that everything is all right, and that no one will recog- 
nize me. I cannot stand the strain any longer. I tell Don- 
ald and Tom — they really must leave me alone. I want to 
be alone and want to visit alone. They understand. Tom 
is a good sort and so is Donald. I do not want to ride, but 
just for a quicker means of getting away I call a taxicab. 

I tell him to drive to Lambeth. He is a good driver, and 
an old one. He has not recognized me, thank heaven! 

But he is going too fast. I tell him to drive slower, to 
take his time. I sit back now. I am passing Westminster 
Bridge again. I see it better. Things are more familiar. 
On the other side is the new London County Council Build- 
ing. They have been building it for years. They started 
it before I left. 

The Westminster Road has become very dilapidated, but 
perhaps it is because I am riding in an automobile. I used 
to travel across it another way. It doesn't seem so long ago, 

My God! Look! Under the bridge! There's the old 
blind man. I stop the driver and drive back. We pull up 
outside the Canterbury. 

"You wait there, or do you want me to pay you off?" 
He will wait. I walk back. 

There he is, the same old figure, the same olci blind man 


I used to see as a child of five, with the same old earmuffs, 
with his back against the wall and the same stream of 
greasy water trickling down the stone behind his back. 

The same old clothes, a bit greener with age, and the 
irregular bush of whiskers colored almost in a rainbow 
array, but with a dirty gray predominant. 

What a symbol from which to count the years that I 
had been away. A little more green to his clothes. A bit 
more gray in his matted beard. 

He has that same stark look in his eyes that used to make 
me sick as a child. Everything exactly the same, only a bit 
more dilapidated. 

No. There is a change. The dirty little mat for the 
unhealthy-looking pup with the watering eyes that used to 
be with him — that is gone. I would like to hear the story 
of the missing pup. 

Did its passing make much difference to the lonely derelict ? 
Was its ending a tragic one, dramatic, or had it just passed 
out naturally? 

The old man is laboriously reading the same chapter from 
his old, greasy, and bethumbed embossed bible. His lips 
move, but silently, as his fingers travel over the letters. I 
wonder if he gets comfort there ? Or does he need comfort ? 

To me it is all too horrible. He is the personification of 
poverty at its worst, sunk in that inertia that comes of lost 
hope. It is too terrible. 



r JUMP into the automobile again and we drive along 
■■• past Christ Church. There's Baxter Hall, where we used 
to see magic-lantern slides for a penny. The forerunner of 
the movie of to-day. I see significance in everything around 
me. You could get a cup of coffee and a piece of cake there 
and see the crucifixion of Christ all at the same time. 

We are passing the police station. A drear place to youth. 
Kennington Road is more intimate. It has grown beautiful 
in its decay. There is something fascinating about it. 

Sleepy people seem to be living in the streets more than 
they used to when I played there. Kennington Baths, the 
reason for many a day's hookey. You could go swimming 
there, second class, for threepence (if you brought your own 
swimming trunks). 

Through Brook Street to the upper Bohemian quarter, 
where third-rate music-hall artists appear. All the same, a 
little more decayed, perhaps. And yet it is not just the 

I am seeing it through other eyes. Age trying to look 
back through the eyes of youth. A common pursuit, though 
a futile one. 

It is bringing home to me that I am a different person. 
It takes the form of art; it is beautiful. I am very imper- 
sonal about it. It is another world, and yet in it I recognize 
something, as though in a dream. 

We pass the Kennington "pub," Kennington Cross, 


Chester Street, where I used to sleep. The same, but, Hke 
its brother landmarks, a bit more dilapidated. There is the 
old tub outside the stables where I used to wash. The same 
old tub, a little more twisted. 

I tell the driver to pull up again. "Wait a moment." I 
do not know why, but I want to get out and walk. An 
automobile has no place in this setting. I have no particu- 
lar place to go. I just walk along down Chester Street. 
Children are playing, lovely children. I see myself among 
them back there in the past. I wonder if any of them will 
come back some day and look around enviously at other 

Somehow they seem different from those children with 
whom I used to play. Sweeter, more dainty were these 
little, begrimed kids with their arms entwined around one 
another's waists. Others, little girls mostly, sitting on the 
doorsteps, with dolls, with sewing, all playing at that uni- 
versal game of "mothers." 

For some reason I feel choking up. As I pass they look 
up. Frankly and without embarrassment they look at the 
stranger with their beautiful, kindly eyes. They smile at 
me. I smile back. Oh, if I could only do something for 
them. These waifs with scarcely any chance at all. 

Now a woman passes with a can of beer. With a white 
skirt hanging down, trailing at the back. She treads on it. 
There, she has done it again. I want to shriek with laughter 
at the joy of being in this same old familiar Kennington. 
I love it. • 

It is all so soft, so musical; there is so much affection in 
the voices. They seem to talk from their souls. There are 
the inflections that carry meanings, even if words were not 
understood. I think of Americans and myself. Our speech 
is hard, monotonous, except where excitement makes it 
more noisy. 

There is a barber shop where I used to be the lather boy. 
I wonder if the same old barber is still there? I look. No, 
he is gone. I see two or three kiddies playing on the porch. 


Foolishly, I give them something. It creates attention. I 
am about to be discovered. 

I leap into the taxi again and ride on. We drive around 
until I have escaped from the neighborhood where suspicion 
has been planted and come to the beginning of Lambeth 
Walk. I get out and walk along among the crowds. 

People are shopping. How lovely the cockneys are ! How 
romantic the figures, how sad, how fascinating! Their 
lovely eyes. How patient they are! Nothing conscious 
about them. No affectation, just themselves, their beauti- 
fully gay selves, serene in their limitations, perfect in their 

I am the wrong note in this picture that nature has con- 
centrated here. My clothes are a bit conspicuous in this 
setting, no matter how unobtrusive my thoughts and actions. 
Dressed as I am, one never strolls along Lambeth Walk. 

I- feel the attention I am attracting. I put my handker- 
chief to my face. People are looking at me, at first slyly, 
then insistently. Who am I? For a moment I am caught 

A girl comes up — thin, narrow-chested, but with an eager- 
ness in her eyes that lifts her above any physical defects. 

"Charlie, don't you know me?" 

Of course I know her. She is all excited, out of breath. 
I can almost feel her heart thumping with emotion as her 
narrow chest heaves with her hurried breathing. Her face 
is ghastly white, a girl about twenty-eight. She has a little 
girl with her. 

This girl was a little servant girl who used to wait on us 
at the cheap lodging house where I lived. I remembered 
that she had left in disgrace. There was tragedy in it. But 
I could detect a certain savage gloriousness in her. She was 
carrying on with all odds against her. Hers is the supreme 
battle of our age. May she and all others of her kind meet a 
kindly fate. 

With pent-up feelings we talk about the most common- 
place things. 


"Well, how are you, Charlie?" 

"Fine." I point to the little girl. "Is she your little 

She says, "Yes." 

That's all, but there doesn't seem to be much need of con- 
versation. We just look and smile at each other and we both 
weave the other's story hurriedly through our own minds 
by way of the heart. Perhaps in our weaving we miss a 
detail or two, but substantially we are right. There is 
warmth in the renewed acquaintance. I feel that in this 
moment I know her better than I ever did in the many 
months I used to see her in the old days. And right now I 
feel that she is worth knowing. 

There's a crowd gathering. It's come. I am discovered, 
with no chance for escape. I give the girl some money to 
buy something for the child, and hurry on my way. She 
understands and smiles. Crowds are following. I am dis- 
covered in Lambeth Walk. 

But they are so charming about it. I walk along and they 
keep behind at an almost standard distance. I can feel 
rather than hear their shuffling footsteps as they follow 
along, getting no closer, losing no ground. It reminds me 
of "The Pied Piper of Hamelin." 

All these people just about five yards away, all timid, 
thrilled, excited at hearing my name, but not having the 
courage to shout it under this spell. 

"There he is." "That's 'im." All in whispers hoarse 
with excitement and carrying for great distance, but at the 
same time repressed by the effort of whispering. What man- 
ners these cockneys have! The crowds accumulate. I 
am getting very much concerned. Sooner or later they are 
going to come up, and I am alone, defenseless. What folly 
this going out alone, and along Lambeth Walk! 

Eventually I see a bobby, a sergeant — or, rather, I think 
him one, he looks so immaculate in his uniform. I go to 
him for protection. 

"Do you mind?" I say. "I find I have been discovered. 


I am Charlie Chaplin. Would you mind seeing me to a 

"That's all right, Charlie. These people won't hurt you. 
They are the best people in the world. I have been with them 
for fifteen years." He speaks with a conviction that makes 
me feel silly and deservedly rebuked. 

I say, "I know it; they are perfectly charming." 

"That's just it," he answers. "They are charming and 

They had hesitated to break in upon my solitude, but 
now, sensing that I have protection, they speak out. 

"Hello, Charlie!" "God bless you, Charlie!" "Good 
luck to you, lad!" As each flings his or her greetings they 
smile and self-consciously back away into the group, bring- 
ing others to the fore for their greeting. All of them have a 
word — old women, men, children. I am almost overcome 
with the sincerity of their welcome. 

We are moving along and come to a street comer and into 
Kennington Road again. The crowds continue following as 
though I were their leader, with nobody daring to approach 
within a certain radius. The little cockney children circle 
around me to get a view from all sides. 

I see myself among them. I, too, had followed celebrities 
in my time in Kennington. I, too, had pushed, edged, and 
fought my way to the front rank of crowds, led by curiosity. 
They are in rags, the same rags, only more ragged. 

They are looking into my face and smiling, showing their 
blackened teeth. Good God! English children's teeth are 
terrible! Something can and should be done about it. But 
their eyes. 

Soulful eyes with such a wonderful expression. I see a 
young girl glance slyly at her beau. What a beautiful look 
she gives him! I find myself wondering if he is worthy, if 
he realizes the treasure that is his. What a lovely people! 

We are waiting. The policeman is busy hailing a taxi. 
I just stand there self-conscious. Nobody asks any ques- 
tions. They are content to look. Their steadfast watching 


is so impressing. I feel small — like a cheat. This worship 
does not belong to me. God, if I could only do something 
for all of them ! 

But there are too many — too many. Good impulses so 
often die before this "too many." 

I am in the taxi. 

"Good-by, Charlie! God bless you!" I am on my way. 

The taxi is going up Kennington Road along Kennington 
Park. Kennington Park. How depressing Kennington 
Park is! How depressing to me are all parks! The loneli- 
ness of them. One never goes to a park unless one is lone- 
some. And lonesomeness is sad. The symbol of sadness, 
that's a park. 

But I am fascinated now with it. I am lonesome and want 
to be. I want to commune with myself and the years that 
are gone. The years that were passed in the shadow of this 
same Kennington Park. T want to sit on its benches again 
in spite of their treacherous bleakness, in spite of the 

But I am in a taxi. And taxis move fast. The park is 
out of sight. Its alluring spell is dismissed with its passing. 
I did not sit on the bench. We are driving toward Kenning- 
ton Gate. 

Kennington Gate. That has its memories. Sad, sweet, 
rapidly recurring memories. 

'Twas here, my first appointment with Hetty (Sonny's 
sister). How I was dolled up in niy little, tight-fitting frock 
coat, hat, and cane! I was quite the dude as I watched 
every street car until four o'clock, waiting for Hetty to step 
off, smiling as she saw me waiting. 

I get out and stand there for a few moments at Kenning- 
ton Gate. My taxi driver thinks I am mad. But I am for- 
getting taxi drivers. I am seeing a lad of nineteen, dressed 
to the pink, with fluttering heart, waiting, waiting for the 
moment of the day when he and happiness walked along 
the road. The road is so alluring now. It beckons for 
another walk, and as I hear a street car approaching I turn 


eagerly, for the moment almost expecting to see the same 
trim Hetty step off, smiling. 

The car stops. A couple of men get off. An old woman. 
Some children. But no Hetty. 

Hetty is gone. So is the lad with the frock coat and cane. 

Back into the cab, we drive up Brixton Road. We pass 
Glenshore Mansions — a more prosperous neighborhood. 
Glenshore Mansions, which meant a step upward to me, 
where I had my Turkish carpets and my red lights in the 
beginning of my prosperity. 

We pull up at the Horns for a drink. The same Horns. 
Used to adjoin the saloon bar. It has changed. Its arrange- 
ment is different. I do not recognize the keeper. I feel very 
much the foreigner now; do not know what to order. I am 
out of place. There's a barmaid. 

How strange, this lady with the coiffured hair and neat 
little shirtwaist! 

"What can I do for you, sir?" 

I am swept off my feet. Impressed. I want to feel very 
much the foreigner. I find myself acting. 

"What have you got?" 

She looks surprised. 

' ' Ah, give me ginger beer. ' ' I find myself becoming a little 
bit affected. I refuse to understand the money — the shill- 
ings and the pence. It is thoroughly explained to me as 
each piece is counted before me. I go over each one sepa- 
rately and then leave it all on the table. 

There are two women seated at a near-by table. One is 
whispering to the other. I am recognized. 

"That's 'im; I tell you 'tis." 

"Ah, get out! And wot would 'e be a-doin' 'ere?" 

I pretend not to hear, not to notice. But it is too ominous. 
Suddenly a white funk comes over me and I rush out and 
into the taxi again. It's closing time for a part of the after- 
noon. Something different. I am surprised. It makes me 
think it is Sunday. Then I learn that it is a new rule in 
effect since the war. 


I am driving down Kennington Road again. Passing 
Kennington Cross. 

Kennington Cross. 

It was here that I first discovered music, or where I first 
learned its rare beauty, a beauty that has gladdened and 
haunted me from that moment. It all happened one night 
while I was there, about midnight. I recall the whole thing 
so distinctly. 

I was just a boy, and its beauty was like some sweet mys- 
tery. I did not understand. I only knew I loved it and 
I became reverent as the sounds carried themselves through 
my brain via my heart. 

I suddenly became aware of a harmonica and a clarinet 
playing a weird, harmonious message. I learned later that 
it was "The Honeysuckle and the Bee." It was played 
with such feeling that I became conscious for the first time 
of what melody really was. My first awakening to music. 

I remembered how thrilled I was as the sweet sounds 
pealed into the night. I learned the words the next day. 
How I would love to hear it now, that same tune, that same 

Conscious of it, yet defiant, I find myself singing the re- 
frain softly to myself: 

"You are the honey, honeysuckle. I am the bee; 
I'd like to sip the honey, dear, from those red lips. You see » 
I love you dearie, dearie, and I want you to love me — 
You are my honey, honeysuckle. I am your bee." 

Kennington Cross, where music first entered my soul. 
Trivial, perhaps, but it was the first time. 

There are a few stragglers left as I pass on my way along 
Manchester Bridge at the Prince Road. They are still 
watching me. I feel that Kennington Road is alive to the 
fact that I am in it. I am hoping that they are feeling that I 
have come back, not that I am a stranger in the public eye. 

I am on my way back. Crossing Westminster Bridge. I 
enter a new land. I go back to the Hay market, back to the 
Ritz to dress for dinner. 




IN the evening I dined at the Ritz with Ed Knobloch, Miss 
Forrest, and several other friends. The party was a very 
congenial one and the dinner excellent. It did much to 
lift me from the depression into which the afternoon in 
Kennington had put me. 

Following dinner we said "Good night" to Miss Forrest, 
and the rest of us went around to Ed Knobloch's apartment 
in the Albany. The Albany is the most interesting building 
I have yet visited in London. 

In a sort of dignified grandeui^ it stands swathed in an 
atmosphere of tradition. It breathes the past, and such a 
past! It has housed men like Shelley and Edmund Burke 
and others whose fame is linked closely with the march of 
English civilization. 

Naturally, the building is very old. Ed's apartment com- 
mands a wonderful view of London. It is beautifully and 
artistically furnished, its high ceilings, its tapestries, and its 
old Victorian windows giving it a quaintness rather startling 
in this modern age. 

We had a bit of supper, and about eleven-thirty it began 
to rain, and later there was a considerable thunderstorm. 

Conversation, languishing on general topics, turns to me, 
the what and wherefore of my coming and going, my impres- 
sions, plans, etc. I tell them as best I can. 

Knobloch is anxious to get my views on England, on the 
impression that London has made. We discuss the matter 


and make comparisons. I feel that England has acquired a 
sadness, something that is tragic and at the same time 

We discuss my arrival. How wonderful it was. The 
crowds, the reception. Knobloch thinks that it is the apex 
of my career. I am inclined to agree with him. 

Whereupon Tom Geraghty comes forward with a startling 
thought. Tom suggests that I die immediately. He insists 
that this is the only fitting thing to do, that to live after 
such a reception and ovation would be an anticlimax. The 
artistic thing to do would be to finish off my career with a 
spectacular death. 

Tom had been drinking, thank heaven. But, neverthe- 
less, everyone is shocked at his suggestion. But I agree 
with Tom that it would be a great climax. We are all 
becoming very sentimental; we insist to one another that 
we must not think such thoughts, and the like. 

The lightning is flashing fitfully outside. Knobloch, with 
an inspiration, gathers all of us, except Tom Geraghty, into 
a corner and suggests that on the next flash of lightning, just 
for a joke, I pretend to be struck dead, to see what effect it 
would have on Tom. 

We make elaborate plans rapidly. Each is assigned to his 
part in the impromptu tragedy. We feed Tom another 
drink and start to talking about death and kindred things. 
Then we all comment how the wind is shaking this old build- 
ing, how its windows rattle and the weird effect that light- 
ning has on its old tapestries and lonely candlesticks. Sur- 
reptitiously, some one has turned out all but one light, but 
old Tom does not suspect. 

The atmosphere is perfect for our hoax and several of us 
who are "in the know" feel sort of creepy as we wait for 
the next flash. I prime myself for the bit of acting. 

The flash comes, and with it I let forth a horrible shriek, 
then stand up, stiffen, and fall flat on my face. I think I 
did it rather well, and I am not sure but that others besides 
Tom were frightened. 


Tom drops his whisky glass and exclaims: "My God! It's 
happened!" and his voice is sober. But no one pays any 
attention to him. 

They all rush to me and I am carried feet first into the 
bedroom, and the door closed on poor old Tom, who is try- 
ing to follow me in. Tom just paces the floor, waiting for 
some one to come from the bedroom and tell him what has 
happened. He knocks on the door several times, but no 
one will let him in. 

Finally, Carl Robinson comes out of the room, looking 
seriously intent, and Tom rushes to him, 

"For God's sake, Carl, what's wrong?" 

Carl brushes him aside and makes for the telephone. 

"Is he — dead?" Tom puts the question huskily and 

Carl pays no attention except: "Please don't bother me 
now, Tom. This is too serious." Then he calls on the 
telephone for the coroner. This has such an effect on 
Geraghty that Knobloch comes forth from the bedroom 
to pacify him. 

"I am sure it will be all right," Knobloch says to Tom, at 
the same time looking as though he were trying to keep 
something secret. Everything is staged perfectly and poor 
old Tom just stands and looks bewildered, and every few 
moments tries to break into the bedroom, but is told to stay 
out, that he is in no condition to be mixing up in anything 
so serious. 

The chief of police is called, doctors are urged to rush 
there in all haste with pulmotors, and with each call Tom's 
suffering increases. We keep up the joke until it has reached 
the point of artistry, and then I ente;r from the bedroom in 
a flowing sheet for a gown and a pillow slip on each arm to 
represent wings, and I proceed to be an angel for a moment. 

But the effect has been too great on Tom, and even the 
travesty at the finish does not get a laugh from him. But 
he is the soberest one in the party by this time. 

We laughed and talked about the stunt for a while and 


Tom was asked what he would have done if it had been true 
and I had been hit by the Hghtning. 

Tom made me feel very cheap and sorry that I had played 
the trick on him when he said that he would have jumped 
out of the window himself, as he would have no desire to 
live if I were dead. 

But we soon got away from serious things and ended the 
party merrily and went home about five in the morning. 
Which meant that we would sleep very late that day. 

Three o'clock in the afternoon found me awakened by 
the news that there was a delegation of reporters waiting to 
see me. They were all ushered in and the whole thirty -five 
of them started firing questions at me in a bunch. And I 
answered them all, for by this time I was quite proficient 
with reporters, and as they all asked the same questions 
that I had answered before it was not hard. 

In fact, we all had luncheon or tea together, though for 
me it was breakfast, and I enjoyed them immensely. They 
are real, sincere, and intelligent, and not hero worshipers. 

Along about five o'clock Ed Knobloch came in with the 
suggestion that we go out for a ride together and call around 
to see Bernard Shaw. This did sound like a real treat. 
Knobloch knows Shaw very well and he felt sure that Shaw 
and I would like each other. 

First, though, I propose that we take a ride about London, 
and Ed leads the way to some very interesting spots, the 
spots that the tourist rarely sees as he races his way through 
the buildings listed in guide books. 

He takes me to the back of the Strand Theater, where 
there are beautiful gardens and courts suggesting palaces 
and armor and the days when knights were bold. These 
houses were the homes of private people during the reign of 
King Charles and even farther back. They abound in secret 
passages and tunnels leading up to the royal palace. There 
is an air about them that is aped and copied, but it is not 
hard to distinguish the real from the imitation. History is 
written on every stone; not the history of the battlefield 


that is laid bare for the historians, but that more intimate 
history, that of the drawing-room, where, after all, the real 
ashes of empires are sifted. 

Now we are in Adelphia Terrace, where Bernard Shaw and 
Sir James Barrie live. What a lovely place the terrace is! 
And its arches underneath leading to the river. And at this 
hour, six-thirty, there comes the first fall of evening and 
London with its soft light is at its best. 

I can quite understand why Whistler was so crazy about 
it. Its lighting is perfect — so beautiful and soft. Perhaps 
there are those who complain that it is poorly lighted and 
who would install many modem torches of electricity to 
remedy the defect, but give me London as it is. Do not 
paint the lily. 

We make for Shaw's house, which overlooks the Thames 
Embankment. As we approach I feel that this is a momen- 
tous occasion. I am to meet Shaw. We reach the house. 
I notice on the door a little brass name plate with the in- 
scription, "Bernard Shaw." I wonder if there is anything 
significant about Shaw's name being engraved in brass. 
The thought pleases me. But we are here, and Knobloch is 
about to lift the knocker. 

And then I seem to remember reading somewhere about 
dozens of movie actors going abroad, and how "they invari- 
ably visited Shaw. Good Lord ! the man must be weary of 
them. And why should he be singled out and imposed upon ? 
And I do not desire to ape others. And I want to be indi- 
vidual and different. And I want Bernard Shaw to like me. 
And I don't want to force myself upon hin;. 

And all this is occurring very rapidly, and I am getting 
fussed, and we are almost before him, and I say to Knob- 
loch, "No, I don't want to meet him." 

Ed is annoyed and surprised and thinks I am crazy and 
everything. He asks why, and I suddenly become embar- 
rassed and shy. "Some other time," I beg. "We won't 
call to-day." I don't know why, but suddenly I feel self- 
conscious and silly — 


Would I care to see Barrie? He lives just across the 

"No, I don't want to see any of them to-day." I am too 
tired. I find that it would be too much effort. 

So I go home, after drinking in all the beauties of the 
evening, the twilight, and the loveliness of Adelphia Ter- 
race. This requires no effort. I can just drift along on my 
own, let thoughts come and go as they will, and never have 
to think about being polite and wondering if I am holding 
my own in intelligent discussion that is sure to arise when 
one meets great minds. I wasted the evening just then. 
Some other time, I know, I am going to want Shaw and 

I drift along with the sight and am carried back a hun- 
dred years, two hundred, a thousand. I seem to see the 
ghosts of King Charles and others of old England with the 
tombstones epitaphed in Old English and dating back even 
to the eleventh century. 

It is all fragrant and too fleeting. We must get back to 
the hotel to dress for dinner. 

Then Knobloch, Sonny, Geraghty, and a few others dine 
with me at the Embassy Club, but Knobloch, who is tired, 
leaves after dinner. Along about ten o'clock Sonny, Ger- 
aghty, Donald Crist, Carl Robinson, and myself decide to 
take a ride. We make toward Lambeth, I want to show 
them Lambeth. I feel as if it is mine — a choice discovery 
and possession that I wish to display. 

I recall an old photographer's shop in the Westminster 
Bridge Road just before you come to the bridge. I want 
to see it again. We get out there. I remember having seen 
a picture framed in that window when I was a boy — a pic- 
ture of Dan Leno, who was an idol of mine in those days. 

The picture was still there, so is the photographer — the 
name "Sharp" is still on the shop. I tell my friends that 
I had my picture taken here about fifteen years ago, and 
we went inside to see if we could get one of the photos. 

"My name is Chaplin," I told the person behind the 


counter. "You photographed me fifteen years ago. I want 
to buy some copies," 

"Oh, we've destroyed the negative long ago" ; the person 
behind the counter thus dismisses me. 

"Have you destroyed Mr. Leno's negative?" I ask him. 

"No," was the reply, "but Mr. Leno is a famous come- 

Such is fame. Here I had been patting myself on the back, 
thinking I was some pumpkins as a comedian, and my nega- 
tive destroyed. However, there is balm in Gilead. I tell 
him I am Charlie Chaplin and he wants to turn the place 
upside down to get some new pictures of me; but we haven't 
the time, and, besides, I want to get out, because I am hear- 
ing suppressed snickers from my friends, before whom I 
was going to show off. 



SO we wandered along through South London by Kenn- 
ington Cross and Kennington Gate, Newington Butts, 
Lambeth Walk, and the Clapham Road, and all through the 
neighborhood. Almost every step brought back memories, 
most of them of a tender sort. I was right here in the 
midst of my youth, but somehow I seemed apart from it. 
I felt as though I was viewing it under a glass. It could be 
seen all too plainly, but when I reached to touch it it was 
not thei;e — only the glass could be felt, this glass that had 
been glazed by the years since I left. 

If I could only get through the glass and touch the real 
live thing that had called me back to London. But I 

A man cannot go back. He thinks he can, but other things 
have happened to his life. He has new ideas, new friends, 
new attachments. He doesn't belong to his past, except 
that the past has, perhaps, made marks on him. 

My friends and I continue our stroll — a stroll so pregnant 
with interest to me at times that I forget that I have com- 
pany and wander along alone. 

Who is that old derelict there against the cart? Another 
landmark. I look at him closely. He is the same — only 
more so. Well do I remember him, the old tomato man. 
I was about twelve when I first saw him, and he is still here 
in the same old spot, plying the same old trade, while I — 

I can picture him as he first appeared to me standing 


beside his round cart heaped with tomatoes, his greasy 
clothes shiny in their unkemptness, the rather glassy single 
eye that had looked from one side of his face staring at 
nothing in particular, but giving you the feeling that it was 
seeing all, the bottled nose with the network of veins spell- 
ing dissipation. 

I remember how I used to stand around and wait for him 
to shout his wares. His method never varied. There was a 
sudden twitching convulsion, and he leaned to one side, 
trying to straighten out the other as he did so, and then, 
taking into his one good lung all the air it would stand, he 
would let forth a clattering, gargling, asthmatic, high- 
pitched wheeze, a series of sounds which defied interpreta- 
tion. Somewhere in the explosion there could be detected 
"ripe tomatoes." Any other part of his message was lost. 

And he was still here. Through summer suns and winter 
snows he had stood and was standing. Only a bit more 
decrepit, a bit older, more dyspeptic, his clothes greasier, 
his shoulder rounder, his one eye rather filmy and not so 
all-seeing as it once was. And I waited. But he did not 
shout his wares any more. Even the good lung was failing. 
He just stood there inert in his aging. And somehow the 
tomatoes did not look so good as they once were. 

We get into a cab and drive back toward Brixton to the 
Elephant and Castle, where we pull up at a coffee store. The 
same old London coffee store, with its bad coffee and tea. 

There are a few pink-cheeked roues around and a couple 
of old derelicts. Then there are a lot of painted ladies, 
many of them with young men and the rest of them looking 
for young men. Some of the young fellows are minus arms 
and many of them carry various ribbons of military honor. 
They are living and eloquent evidence of the war and its 
effects. There are a number of stragglers. The whole scene 
to me is depressing. What a sad London this is! People 
with tired, worn faces after four years of war ! 

Some one suggests that we go up and see George Fitz- 
maurice, who lives in Park Lane. There we can get a drink 


and then go to bed. We jump in a cab and are soon there. 
What a difference! Park Lane is another world after the 
Elephant and Castle. Here are the homes of the million- 
aires and the prosperous. 

Fitzmaurice is quite a successful moving-picture director. 
We find a lot of friends at his house, and over whiskies-and- 
sodas we discuss our trip. Our trip through Kennington 
suggests Limehouse and conversation turns toward that dis- 
trict and Thomas Burke. 

I get their impressions of Limehouse. It is not as tough 
as it has been pictured. I rather lost my temper through 
the discussion. 

One of those in the party, an actor, spoke very sneeringly 
of that romantic district and its people. 

"Talk about Limehouse nights. I thought they were 
tough down there. Why, they are like a lot of larks!" said 
this big-muscled leading man. 

And then he tells of a visit to the Limehouse district — a 
visit made solely for the purpose of finding trouble. How 
he had read of the tough characters there and how he had 
decided to go down to find out how tough they were. 

"I went right down there into their joints," he said, "and 
told them that I was looking for somebody that was tough, 
the tougher the better, and I went up to a big mandarin 
wearing a feather and said: 'Give me the toughest you've 
got. You fellows are supposed to be tough down here, so 
let's see how tough you are.' And I couldn't get a rise out 
of any of them," he concluded. 

This was enough for me. It annoyed. 

I told him that it was very fine for well-fed, overpaid 
actors flaunting toughness at these deprived people, who are 
gentle and nice and, if ever tough, only so because of en- 
vironment. I asked him just how tough he would be if he 
were living the life that some of these unfortunate families 
must live. How easy for him, with five meals a day beneath 
that thrust-out chest with his muscles trained and perfect, 
trying to start something with these people. Of course they 


were not tough, but when it comes to four years of war, 
when it comes to losing an arm or a leg, then they are tough. 
But they are not going around looking for fights unless there 
is a reason. 

It rather broke up the party, but I was feeling so dis- 
gusted that I did not care. 

We meander along, walking from Park Lane to the Ritz. 

On our way we are stopped by two or three young girls. 
They are stamped plainly and there is no subtlety about 
their "Hello boys! You are not going home so early?" 
They salute us. We wait a moment. They pause and then 
wave their hands to us and we beckon them. 

"How is it you are up so late?" They are plainly em- 
barrassed at this question. Perhaps it has been a long time 
since they were given the benefit of the doubt. They are 
not just sure what to say. We are different. Their usual 
method of attack or caress does not seem in order, so they 
just giggle. 

Here is life in its elemental rawness. I feel very kindly 
disposed toward them, particularly after my bout with the 
well-fed actor who got his entertainment from the frailties 
of others. But it is rather hard for us to mix. There is a 
rather awkward silence. 

Then one of the girls asks if we have a cigarette. Robin- 
son gives them a package, which they share between the 
three of them. This breaks the ice. They feel easier. The 
meeting is beginning to run along the parliamentary rules 
that they know. 

Do we know where they can get a drink ? 

"No." This is a temporary setback, but they ask if we 
mind their walking along a bit with us. We don't and we 
walk along toward the Ritz. They are giggling, and before 
long I am recognized. They are embarrassed. 

They look down at their shabby little feet where ill-fitting 
shoes run over at the heels. Their cheap little cotton suits 
class them even low in their profession, though their youth 
is a big factor toward their potential rise when they have 


become hardened and their mental faculties have become 
sharpened in their eternal battles with men. Then men will 
come to them. 

Knowing my identity, they are on their good behavior. 
No longer are we prospects. We are true adventure for 
them this night. Their intimacy has left them and in its 
place there appears a reserve which is attractive even in its 

The conversation becomes somewhat formal. And we 
are nearing the hotel, where we must leave them. They are 
very nice and charming now and are as timid and reserved 
as though they had just left a convent. 

They talk haltingly of the pictures they have seen, shyly 
telling how they loved me in "Shoulder Arms," while one 
of them told how she wept when she saw ' ' The Kid " and how 
she had that night sent some money home to a little kid 
brother who was in school and staying there through her 
efforts in London. 

The difference in them seems so marked when they call 
me Mr. Chaplin and I recall how they had hailed us as 
"Hello, boys." Somehow I rather resent the change. I 
wish they would be more intimate in their conversation. I 
would like to get their viewpoint. I want to talk to them 
freely. They are so much more interesting than most of 
the people I meet. 

But there is a barrier. Their reserve stays. I told them 
that I was sure they were tired and gave them cab fare. 

One of their number speaks for the trio. 

"Thanks, Mr. Chaplin, very much. I could do with this, 
really. I was broke, honest. Really, this comes in very 

They could not quite understand our being nice and 

They were used to being treated in the jocular way of 
street comradery. Finer qualities came forward under the 
respectful attention we gave them, something rather nice 
that had been buried beneath the veneer of their trade. 


Their thanks are profuse, yet awkward. They are not 
used to giving thanks. They usually pay, and pay dearly, 
for anything handed them. We bid them "good night." 
They smile and walk away. 

We watch them for a bit as they go on their way. At 
first they are strolling along, chattering about their adven- 
ture. Then, as if on a signal, they straighten up as though 
bracing themselves, and with quickened steps they move 
toward Piccadilly, where a haze of light is reflected against 
the murky sky. 

It is the beacon light from their battleground, and as we 
follow them with our eyes these butterflies of the night 
make for the lights where there is laughter and gayety. 

As we go along to the Ritz we are all sobered by the 
encounter with the three little girls. I think blessed is the 
ignorance that enables them to go on without the mental 
torture that would come from knowing the inevitable that 
awaits them. 

As we go up the steps of the hotel we see a number of 
derelicts huddled asleep against the outside of the building, 
sitting under the arches and doors, men and women, old and 
young, underfed, deprived, helpless, so much so that the 
imprint of helplessness is woven into their brain and brings 
on an unconsciousness that is a blessing. 

We wake them up and hand them each money. "Here, 
get yourself a bed." 

They are too numbed. They thank us mechanically, 
accepting what we give them, but their reaction and thanks 
are more physical than mental. 

There was one old woman about seventy. I gave her 
something. She woke up, or stirred in her sleep, took the 
money without a word of thanks — took it as though it was 
her ration from the bread line and no thanks were expected, 
huddled herself up in a tighter knot than before, and con- 
tinued her slumber. The inertia of poverty had long since 
claimed her. 

We rang the night bell at the Ritz, for they are not like 


our American hotels, where guests are in the habit of 
coming in at all hours of the night. The Ritz closes its 
doors at midnight, and after that hour you must ring 

But the night was not quite over. As we were ringing the 
bell we noticed a wagon in the street about a block away, 
with the horse slipping and the driver out behind the wagon 
with his shoulder to the wheel and urging the horse along 
with cheery words. 

We walked to the wagon and found it was loaded with 
apples and on its way to the market. The streets were so 
slippery that the horse could not negotiate the hill. I could 
not help but think how different from the usual driver this 
man was. 

He did not belay the tired animal with a whip and curse 
and swear at him in his helplessness. He saw that the animal 
was up against it, and instead of beating him he got out and 
put his shoulder to the wheel, never for the moment doubt- 
ing that the horse was doing his best. 

We all went out into the street and put our shoulders 
against the wagon along with the driver. He thanked us, 
and as we finally got the momentum necessary to carry it 
over the hill he said: 

"These darn roads are so slippery that the darn horse 
even can't pull it." 

It was a source of wonder to him that he should come upon 
something too much for his horse. And the horse was so 
well fed and well kept. I could not help but notice how 
much better the animal looked than his master. The eve- 
ning was over and I don't know but that the incident of the 
apple wagon was a fitting finale. 

The next morning for the first time I am made to give my 
attention to the mail that has been arriving. We have been 
obliged to have another room added to our suite in order to 
have some place in which to keep the numerous sacks that 
are being brought to us at all hours. 

The pile is becoming so mountainous that we are com- 


pelled to engage half a dozen stenographers just for the pur- 
pose of reading and classifying them. 

We found that there were 73,000 letters or cards addressed 
to me during the first three days in London, and of this 
number more than 28,000 were begging letters — letters 
begging anywhere from £1 to £100,000. 

Countless and varied were the reasons set forth. Some 
were ridiculous. Some were amusing. Some were pathetic. 
Some were insulting. All of them in earnest. 

I discovered from the mail that there are 671 relatives of 
mine in England that I knew nothing about. The greater 
part of these were cousins and they gave very detailed family- 
tree tracings in support of their claims. All of them wished 
to be set up in business or to get into the movies. 

But the cousins did not have a monopoly on the relation- 
ships. There were brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles 
and there were nine claiming to be my mother, telling won- 
drous adventure stories about my being stolen by gypsies 
when a baby or being left on doorsteps, until I began to 
think my youth had been a very hectic affair. But I did 
not worry much about these last, as I had left a perfectly 
good mother back in California, and so far I have been 
pretty much satisfied with her. 

There were letters addressed just to Charles Chaplin, 
some to King Charles, some to the "King of Mirth"; on 
some there was drawn the picture of a battered derby; 
some carried a reproduction of my shoes and cane; and in 
some there was stuck a white feather with the question as 
to what I was doing during the war. 

Would I visit such and such institutions ? Would I appear 
for such and such charity? Would I kick off the football 
season or attend some particular socker game? Then there 
were letters of welcome and one inclosing an iron cross 
inscribed, "For your services in the great war," and "Where 
were you when England was fighting?" 

Then there were others thanking me for happiness given 
the senders. These came by the thousand. One young 


soldier sent me four medals he had gotten during the big 
war. He said that he was sending them because I had never 
been properly recognized. His part was so small and mine 
so big, he said, that he wanted me to have his Croix de Guerre, 
his regimental and other medals. 

Some of the letters were most interesting. Here are a 
few samples: 

Dear Mr. Chaplin, — You are a leader in your line and I am a leader 
in mine. Your specialty is moving pictures and custard pies. My specialty 
is windmills. 

I know more about windmills than any man in the world. I have 
studied the winds all over the world and am now in a position to invent a 
windmill that will be the standard mill of the world, and it will be made 
so it can be adapted to the winds of the tropics and the winds of the 
arctic regions. 

I am going to let you in on this in an advantageous way. You have 
only to furnish the money. I have the brains and in a few years I will 
make you rich and famous. You had better phone me for quick action. 

Dear Mr. Chaplin, — Won't you please let me have enough money 
to send little Oscar to college? Little Oscar is twelve and the neighbors all 
say that he is the brightest little boy they have ever seen. And he can 
imitate you so well that we don't have to go to the movies any more. 
[This is dangerous. Oscar is a real competitor, ruining my business.] 
And so if you can't send the little fellow to college won't you take him in 
the movies with you like you did Jackie Coogan? 

Dear Mr. Chaplin, — My brother is a sailor and he is the only man 
in the world who knows where Capt. Kidd's gold is buried. He has 
charts and maps and everything necessary, including a pick and shovel. 
But he cannot pay for the boat. 

Will you pay for the boat and half the gold is yours. All you need do 
is say yes to me in a letter and I will go out and look for John as he is off 
somewhere on a bat, being a what you might call a drinking man when 
ashore. But I am sure that I can find him, as he and I drink in the same 
places. Your shipmate. 

Dear Charlie, — Have you ever thought of the money to be made in 
peanuts? I know the peanut industry, but I am not telling any of my 
business in a letter. If you are interested in becoming a peanut king, 
then I'm yotir man. Just address me as Snapper Dodge, above address. 


Dear Mr. Chaplin, — My daughter has been helping me about my 
boarding house now for several years, and I may say that she understands 
the art of catering to the public as wishes to stay in quarters. But she 
has such high-toned ideas, like as putting up curtains in the bathroom 
and such that at times I think she is too good for the boarding house 
business and should be having her own hotel to run. 

If you could see your way to buy a hotel in London or New York for 
Drusilla, I am sure that before long your name and Drusilla's would be 
linked together all over the world because of what Drusilla would do to 
the hotel business. And she would save money because she could make 
all the beds and cook herself and at nights could invent the touches like 
what I have mentioned. Drusilla is waiting for you to call her. 

Dear Mr. Chaplin, — I am inclosing pawn checks for grandma's false 
teeth and our silver water pitcher, also a rent bill showing that our rent 
was due yesterday. Of course, we would rather have you pay our rent 
first, but if you could spare it, grandma's teeth would be acceptable, and 
we can't hold our heads up among the neighbors since father hocked our 
silver pitcher to get some beer. 



HERE are more extracts from a number of the letters 
selected at random from the mountain of mail awaiting 
me at the hotel: 

" wishes Mr. Chaplin a hearty welcome and begs 

him to give him the honor of shaving him on Sunday, 
Sept. II, any time which he thinks suitable." 

A West End money lender has forwarded his business 
card, which states: "Should you require temporary cash 
accommodation, I am prepared to advance you £50 to 
£10,000 on note of hand alone, without fees or delay. All 
communications strictly private and confidential." 

A man living in Lexington Street, Goldensquare, W., 
writes: "My son, in the endeavor to get a flower thrown 
by you from the Ritz Hotel, lost his hat, the bill for which 
I inclose, 7 shillings and 6 pence." 

A Liverpool scalp specialist gathers that Mr. Chaplin 
is much concerned regarding the appearance of gray hairs 
in his head. "I claim to be," he adds, "the only man in 
Britain who can and does restore the color of gray hair. 
You may visit Liverpool, and if you will call I shall be 
pleased to examine your scalp and give you a candid 
opinion. If nothing can be done I will state so frankly." 

' ' Is there any chance," writes Mrs. Violet Pain, of 8 Angell- 
road, Brixton, "of you requiring for your films the services 
of twin small boys nearly four years old and nearly indis- 
tinguishable? An American agent has recently been in this 


neighborhood and secured a contract with two such small 
girls (twins), which points to at least a demand for such 
on American films." 

A widow of 62 writes: "I have a half dozen china tea 
set of the late Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee, and it 
occurred to me that you might like to possess it. If you 
would call or allow me to take it anywhere for you to see, 
I would gladly do so. I have had it twenty-four years, and 
would like to raise money on it." 

A South London picture dealer writes: "If ever you 
should be passing this way when you are taking your quiet 
strolls around London, I would like you to drop in and see 
a picture that I think might interest you. It is the Strand 
by night, painted by Arthur Grimshaw in 1887. I hope you 
won't think I have taken too much of a liberty — but I 
knew your mother when I was in Kate Paradise's troupe, 
and I think she would remember me if ever you were to 
mention Clara Symonds of that troupe. It is a little link 
with the past." 

" Dear Old Friend, — Some months ago I wrote to you 
and no doubt you will remember me. I was in 'Casey's 
court,' and, as you know, we had Mr. Murray for our boss. 
You have indeed got on well. I myself have only this month 
come home from being in Turkey for eight years. Dear old 
boy, I should like to see you when you come to London — 
that is, if you do not mind mixing with one of the Casey's 
court urchins." 

A Billingshurst (Sussex) mother writes: "Would you 
grant a few moments' interview to a little girl of nine (small 
for her years) whom I am anxious to start on the films? 
She has much in her favor, being not only bright and clever, 
but unusually attractive in appearance, receiving unlimited 
attention wherever she goes, as she is really quite out of 
the ordinary." 

A disengaged actress writes: "If you should take a film 
in England it would be a great kindness to employ some 
of the hundreds of actresses out of work now and with no 


prospects of getting any, A walk-on would be a very wel- 
come change to many of us, to say nothing of a part." 

A Bridgewater resident owning, a new six-cylinder car 
writes: "A friend of mine has a very old-time spot right 
here in Somerset, with the peacocks wandering across the 
well-kept grounds and three lovely trout ponds, where last 
night I brought home five very fine rainbow trout each weigh- 
ing about one and a half pounds. You will be tired of the 
crowds. Slip away down to me and I will give you ten days 
or more of the best time you can get. There will be no side 
or style and your oldest clothes will be the thing." 

"My husband and I should consider it an honor if during 
your visit to South London you would call and take a homely 
cup of tea with us. I read in the paper of your intention to 
stay at an old-fashioned inn, and should like to recommend 
the White Horse inn at Sheen, which, I believe, is the oldest 
in Surrey. It certainly corresponds with your ideal. Wel- 
come to your home town. — ^Jean D. Deschamps." 

"When you are really tired of the rush of London there 
is a very nice little place called Seaford, not very far from 
London, just a small place where you can have a real rest. 
No dressing up, etc., and then fishing, golf and tennis if 
you care for the same. You could put up at an hotel or 
here. There will be no one to worry you. Don't forget 
to drop us a line. Yours sincerely, E. M. W." 

A London clubman, in offering hospitality, says: "I do 
not know you. You do not know me, and probably don't 
want to. But just think it over and come and have a bit 
of lunch with, me one day. This between ourselves — no 

"Saint Pancras Municipal Officers' Swimming Club would 
be greatly honored by your presiding at our annual swimming 
gala to be held at the St. Pancras public baths." 

Dorothy Cochrane, Upper North Street, Poplar, asks: 
"Dear Mr. Charlie Chaplin, if you have a pair of old boots 
at home will you throw them at me for luck?" 

An aspirant for the position of secretary writes: "I am 


a musical comedy artist by profession, but am at present out 
of work. I am six feet two inches in height and 27 years 
of age. If there is any capacity in which you can use my 
services I shall be very thankful. Hoping you will have an 
enjoyable stay in your home country." 

A Barnes man writes: "If you have time we should be 
very proud if you could spare an afternoon to come to tea. 
We should love to give you a real old-fashioned Scotch tea, 
if you would care to come. We know you will be fdted, 
and everyone will want you, but if you feel tired and want 
a wee rest come out quietly to us. If it wasn't for your 
dear funny ways bn the screen during the war we would 
all have gone under." 

"Dear Charles," writes an 11 -year-old, "I'd like to meet 
you very, very much. I'd like to meet you just to say thank 
you for all the times you've cheered me up when I've felt 
down and miserable. I've. never met you and I don't sup- 
pose I ever will, but you will always be my friend and helper. 
I'd love your photograph signed by you! Are you likely 
to come to Harrowgate? I wish you would. Perhaps you 
could come and see me. Couldn't you try?" 

I wish I could read them all, for in every one there is 
human feeling, and I wish it were possible that I could 
accept some of the invitations, especially those inviting me 
to quietness and solitude. But there are thousands too 
many. Most of them will have to be answered by my sec- 
retaries, but all of them will be answered, and we are taking 
trunkfuls of the letters back to California in order that as 
many of the requests as possible shall receive attention. 

During the afternoon there came Donald Crisp, Tom 
Geraghty and the bunch, and before long my apartment 
in the London Ritz might just as well be home in Los 
Angeles. I realize that I am getting nowhere, meeting 
nobody and still playing in Hollywood. 

I have traveled 6,000 miles and find I have not shaken 
the dust of Hollywood from my shoes. I resent this. I tell 
Knobloch I must meet other people besides Geraghty and 


the Hollywood bunch. I have seen as much as I want to 
see of it. Now I want to meet people. 

Knobloch smiles, but he is too kind to remind me of my 
retreat before the name plate of Bernard Shaw. He and I 
go shopping and I am measured for some clothes; then to 
lunch with E. V. Lucas. 

Lucas is the editor of Punch, England's foremost humorous 
publication. A very charming man, sympathetic and sincere. 
He has writen a number of very good novels. It is arranged 
to give me a party that night at the Garrick Club. 

After luncheon we visit StoU's Theater, where "Shoulder 
Arms" and Mary Pickford's picture, "Suds," are being 
shown. This is my first experience in an English cinema. 
The opera house is one that was built by Steinhouse and then 
turned into a movie theater. 

It is strange and odd to see the English audience drinking 
tea and eating pastry while watching the performance. I 
find very little difference in their appreciation of the picture. 
All the points get over just the same as in America. I get 
out without being recognized and am very thankful for that. 

Back to the hotel and rest for the evening before my 
dinner at the Garrick Club. 

The thought of dining at the Garrick Club brought up 
before me the mental picture that I have always carried of 
that famous old meeting place in London, where art is most 
dignified. And the club itself reahzed my picture to the 

Tradition and custom are so deep rooted there that I 
believe its routine would go on through sheer mechanics 
of spirit, even if its various employees should forget to show 
up some day. The corners seem almost peopled with the 
ghosts of Henry Irving and his comrades. There is one 
end of the gloomy old room is a chair in which David Gar- 
rick himself sat. 

All those at the dinner were well known in art circles — 
E. V. Lucas, Walter Hackett, George Frampton, J. M. 
Barrie, Herbert Hammil, Edward Knobloch, Harrv Graham. 


N. Nicholas, Nicholas D. Davies, Squire Bancroft and a 
number of others whose names I do not remember. 

What an interesting character is Squire Bancroft. I am 
told that he is England's oldest living actor, and he is now 
retired. He does not look as though he should retire. 

I am late and that adds to an embarrassment which started 
as soon as I knew I was to meet Barrie and so many other 
famous people. 

There is Barrie. He is pointed out to me just about the 
time I recognize him myself. This is my primary reason 
for coming. To meet Barrie. He is a small man, with a 
dark mustache and a deeply marked, sad face, with heavily 
shadowed eyes. But I detect lines of humor lurking around 
his mouth. Cynical? Not exactly. 

I catch his eye and make motions for us to sit together, 
and then find that the party had been planned that way 
anyhow. There is the inevitable hush for introductions. 
How I hate it. Names are the bane of my existence. Per- 
sonalities, that's the thing. 

But everyone seems jovial except Barrie. His eyes 
look sad and tired. But he brightens as though all along 
there had been that hidden smile behind the mask. I 
wonder if they are all friendly toward me, or if I am just the 
curiosity of the moment. 

There is an embarrassing pause, after we have filed into 
the dining room, which E. V. Lucas breaks. 

' ' Gentlemen, be seated. ' ' 

I felt almost like a minstrel man and the guests took 
their seats as simultaneously as though rehearsed for it. 

I feel very uncomfortable mentally. I cough. What 
shall I say to Barrie? Why hadn't I given it some thought? 
I am aware that Squire Bancroft is seated at my other 
side. I feel as though I am in a vise with its jaws closing 
as the clock ticks. Why did I come? The atmosphere is 
so heavy, yet I am sure they all feel most hospitable toward 

I steal a look at Squire Bancroft. The old tragedian 


looks every bit the eminent old-school actor. The dignity 
and tradition of the English stage is written into every 
line in his face. I remember Nicholson having said that the 
squire would not go to a "movie," that he regarded his 
stand as a principle. Then why is he here? He is going 
to be difficult, I fear. 

He breaks the ice with the announcement that he had 
been to a movie that day ! Coming from him it was almost 
a shock. 

"Mr. Chaplin, the reading of the letter in 'Shoulder 
Arms* was the high spot of the picture." This serious 
consideration from the man who would not go to the 

I wanted to kiss him. Then I learn that he had told 
everyone not to say anything about his not having been 
to a movie for fear that it would offend me. He leans over 
and whispers his age and tells me he is the oldest member 
of the club. He doesn't look within ten years of his age. 
I find myself muttering inanities in answering him. 

Then Barrie tells me that he is looking for some one to 
play Peter Pan and says he wants me to play it. He bowls 
me over completely. To think that I was avoiding and afraid 
to meet such a man! But I am afraid to discuss it with 
him seriously, am on my guard because he may decide that 
I know nothing about it and change his mind. 

Just imagine, Barrie has asked me to play Peter Pan. It 
is too big and grand to risk spoiling it by some chance wit- 
less observation, so I change the subject and let this golden 
opportunity pass. I have failed completely in my first 
skirmish with Barrie. 

There are labored jokes going the rounds of the table and 
everyone seems to feel conscious of some duty that is resting 
on his shoulders imgracefuUy. 

One ruddy gentleman whose occupation is a most serious 
one, I am told, that of building a giant memorial in White 
Hall to the dead of the late war, is reacting to the situation 
most flippantly. His conversation, which has risen to a 


pitch of almost hysterical volume, is most ridiculously comic. 
He is a delightful buffoon. 

Everyone is laughing at his chatter, but nothing seems 
to be penetrating my stupidity, though I am carrying with 
me a wide mechanical grin, which I broaden and narrow 
with the nuances of the table laughing. I feel utterly 
out of the picture, that I don't belong, that there must 
be something significant in the badinage that is bandied 
about the board. 

Barrie is speaking again about moving pictures. I must 
understand. I summon all of my scattered faculties to bear 
upon what he is saying. What a peculiarly shaped head 
he has. 

He is speaking of "The Kid," and I feel that he is trying 
to flatter me. But how he does it! He is criticizing the 

He is very severe. He declares that the "heaven" scene 
was entirely unnecessary, and why did I give it so much 
attention ? And why so much of the mother in the picture, 
and why the meeting of the mother and the father? All of 
these things he is discussing analytically and profoundly, 
so much so that I find that my feeling of self-consciousness 
is rapidly leaving me. 

I find myself giving my side of the argument without 
hesitation, because I am not so sure that Barrie is right, 
and I had reasons, good reasons, for wanting all those things 
in the picture. But I am thrilled at his interest and ap- 
preciation and it is borne in upon me that by discussing 
dramatic construction with me he is paying a very gracious 
and subtle compliment. It is sweet of him. It relieves me 
of the last vestige of my embarrassment. 

"But, Sir James," I am saying, "I cannot agree with 
you — " Imagine the metamorphosis. And our discussion 
continues easily and pleasantly. I am aware of his age as 
he talks and I get more of his spirit of whimsicality. 

The food is being served and I find that E. V. Lucas has 
provided a treacle pudding, a particular weakness of mine, 


to which I do justice. I am wondering if Barrie resents 
age, he who is so youthful in spirit. 

There seems to be lots of fun in the general buffoonery 
that is going on around the table, but despite all efforts to 
the contrary I am serving a diet of silence. I feel very color- 
less, that the whole conversation that is being shouted is 

I am a good audience. I laugh at anything and dare not 
speak. Why can't I be witty? Are they trying to draw 
me out? Is it phony? Maybe I am wrong and there is a 
purpose behind this buffoonery. But I hardly know whether 
to retaliate in kind, or just grin. 

I am dying for something to happen. Lucas is rising. 
We all feel the tension. Why are parties like that ? It ends. 

Barrie is whispering, "Let's go to my apartment for a 
drink and a quiet talk," and I begin to feel that things are 
most worth while. Knobloch and I walk with him to 
Adelphia Terrace, where his apartment overlooks the 
Thames Embankment. 

Somehow this apartment seems just like him, but I cannot 
convey the resemblance in a description of it. The first 
thing you see is a writing desk in a huge room beautifully 
furnished, and with dark-wood paneling. Simplicity and 
comfort are written everywhere. There is a large Dutch 
fireplace in the right side of the room, but the outstanding 
piece of furniture is a tiny kitchen stove in one comer. It 
is polished to such a point that it takes the aspect of the 
ornamental rather than the useful. He explains that on 
this he makes his tea when servants are away. Such a touch, 
perhaps, just the touch to suggest Barrie. 

Our talk drifts to the movies and Barrie tells me of the 
plans for filming "Peter Pan." We are on very friendly 
ground in this discussion and I find myself giving Barrie 
ideas for plays while he is giving me ideas for movies, 
many of them suggestions that I can use in comedies. It 
is a great chatfest. 

There is a knock at the door. Gerald du Maurier is 


calling. He is one of England's greatest actors and the son 
of the man who wrote "Trilby." Our party lasts far into 
the night, until about three in the morning. I notice that 
Barrie looks rather tired and worn, so we leave, walking 
with Du Maurier up the Strand. He tells us that Barrie is 
not himself since his nephew was drowned, that he has aged 

We walk slowly back to the hotel and to bed. 

Next day there is a card from Bruce Bairnsfather, 
England's famous cartoonist, whose work during the war 
brought him international success, inviting me to tea. He 
carries me out into the country, where I have a lovely time. 
His wife tells me that he is just a bundle of nerves and that 
he never knows when to stop working. I ask what H. G. 
Wells is like and Bruce tells me that he is like "Wells" 
and no one else. 

When I get back to the hotel there is a letter from Wells. 

"Do come over. I've just discovered that you are in 
town. Do you want to meet Shaw ? He is really very charm- 
ing out of the limelight. I suppose you are overwhelmed 
with invitations, but if there is a chance to get hold of you 
for a talk, I will be charmed. How about a week-end 
with me at Easton, free from publicity and with harmless, 
human people. No phones in the house." 

I lost no time in accepting such an invitation. 

There is a big luncheon party on among my friends and 
I am told that a party has been arranged to go through 
the Limehouse district with Thomas Burke, who wrote 
"Limehouse Nights." I resent it exceedingly and refuse to 
go with a crowd to meet Burke. I revolt against the con- 
stant crowding. I hate crowds. 

London and its experiences are telling on me and I am 
nervous and unstrung. I must see Burke and go with him 
alone. He is the one man who sees London through the same 
kind of glasses as myself. I am told that Burke will be 
disappointing because he is so silent, but I do not believe 
that I will be disappointed in him. 


Robinson tells the crowd of my feelings and how much 
I have planned on this night alone with Burke, and the party 
is called off. We phone Burke and I make an engagement 
to meet him at his home that evening at ten o'clock. We 
are to spend the night together in Limehouse. What a 
prospect ! 

That night I was at Thomas Burke's ahead of time. The 
prospect of a night spent in the Limehouse district with the 
author of "Limehouse Nights" was as alluring as Christmas 
morning to a child. 

Burke is so different from what I expected. ' * Limehouse 
Nights" had led me to look for some one physically, as well 
as mentally, big, though I had always pictured him as 
mild-mannered and tremendously human and sympathetic. 

I notice even as we are introduced that Burke looks tired 
and it is hard to think that this little man with the thin, 
peaked face and sensitive features is the same one who has 
blazed into literature such elemental lusts, passions and 
emotions as characterize his short stories. 

I am told that he doesn't give out much. I wonder just 
who he is like. He is very curious. Doesn't seem to be 
noticing anything that goes on about him. He just sits 
with his arm to his face, leaning on his hand and gazing 
into the fire. As he sits there, apparently unperturbed 
and indifferent, I am warming up to him considerably. I 
feel a sort of master of the situation. It's a comfortable 
feeling. Is his reticence real or is this some wonderful 
trick of his, this making his guest feel superior? 

His tired-looking, sensitive eyes at first seem rather severe 
and serious, but suddenly I am aware of something keen, 
quick and twinkling in them. His wife has arrived. A 
very young lady of great charm, who makes you feel in- 
stantly her artistic capabilities even in ordinary conver- 

Shortly after his wife comes in Burke and I leave, I 
feeling very much the tourist in the hands of the supercity 


"What, where — anything particular that I want to see?" 

This rather scares me, but I take it as a challenge and 
make up my mind that I will know him. He is difficult, 
and, somehow, I don't believe that he cares for movie actors. 
Maybe I am only possible copy to him? 

He seems to be doing me a kindness and I find myself 
feeling rather stiff and on my best behavior, but I resolve 
that before the evening is through I will make him open up 
and like me, for I am sure that his interest is well worth 

I have nothing to suggest except that we ramble along 
with nothing deliberate in view. I feel that this pleases 
him, for a light of interest comes into his eyes, chasing one 
of responsibility. We are just going to stroll along. 




AS Burke and I ramble along toward no place in 
particular, I talk about his book. I have read "Lime- 
house Nights" as he wrote it. There is nothing I could 
see half so effective. We discuss the fact that realities 
such as he has kept alive seldom happen in a stroll, but 
I am satisfied. I don't want to see. It could not be 
more beautiful than the book. There is no reaction to my 
flattery. I must watch good taste. 

Passing up my obvious back-patting, I feel that he is 
very intelligent, and I am silent for quite a while as we 
stroll along toward Stepney. There is a greenish mist hang- 
ing about everything and we seem to be in a labyrinth of 
narrow alleyways, now turning into streets and then merging 
into squares. He is silent and we merely walk. 

And then I awaken. I see his purpose. I can do my own 
story — he is merely lending me the tools. And what tools 
they are! I feel that I have served an ample apprentice- 
ship in their use, through merely reading his stories. I 
am fortified. 

It is so easy now. He has given me the stories before. 
Now he is telling them over in pictures. The very shadows 
take on life and romance. The skulking, strutting, mincing, 
hurrying forms that pass us and fade out into the night 
are now becoming characters. The curtain has risen on 
"Limehouse Nights," dramatized with the original cast. 

There is a tang of the east in the air and I am tinglingly 


aware of something vital, living, moving, in this murky- 
atmosphere that is more intense even for the occasional dim 
light that peers out into the soft gloom from attic windows 
and storerooms, or municipal lights that gleam on the street 

Here is a little slice of God's fashioning, where love runs 
hand in hand with death, where poetry sings in withered 
Mongolian hearts, even as knives are buried in snow-white 
breasts and swarthy necks. ~ Here hearts are broken cas- 
ually, but at the same time there comes just as often to this 
lotus land the pity, terror, and wonder of first love, and who 
shall say which is predominant ? 

Behind each of those tiny garret windows lurks life — life 
in its most elemental costume. There is no time, thought, 
or preparation for anything but the elemental passions, and 
songs of joy, hope, and laughter are written into each exist- 
ence, even as the killings go on, surely, swiftly. 

There must be a magic wand forever doing a pendulum 
swing over this land, for the point of view often changes from 
the beastly to the beautiful, and in one short moment the 
innocent frequently gather the sophistication of the aged. 
These creatures of life's game run blithely along their course, 
ignorant of the past, joyful in the present, and careless of 
the future, while their tiny lightened windows seem to wink 
deliberately as they make pinpricks of light through the 
shuttered gloom. 

On the other side of the street there is stepping a little 
lady whose cheap cotton clothes are cut with Parisian cun- 
ning, and as we cross and pass her we discern beauty, en- 
hanced many fold by youth and vitality, but hardened with 
premature knowledge. I can't help but think of little Gracie 
Goodnight, the little lady who resented the touch of a 
"Chink," so much so that she filled the fire extinguishers 
in his place with oil, and when he was trapped in the blazing 
building, calmly, and with a baby smile upon her face, 
poured the contents of the extinguisher over him and his 


There is the Queen's Theater, bringing forward a mental 
picture of Httle Gina of Chinatown, who stopped a panic 
in the fire-frightened audience of the playhouse as her debut 
offering on the stage. Little Gina, who brought the whole 
neighborhood to her feet in her joyous dancing delight. 
Little Gina, who at fourteen had lived, laughed, and loved, 
and who met death with a smile, carrying the secret of him 
with her. 

Every once in a while Burke merely lifts his stick and 
points. His gesture needs no comment. He has located 
and made clear without language the only one object he 
could possibly mean, and, strangely, it is always something 
particularly interesting to me. He is most unusual. 

What a guide he is! He is not showing rne Main Street, 
not the obvious, not even the sight-seer's landmarks, but in 
this rambling I am getting the heart, the soul, the feeling. 
I feel that he has gauged me quickly — that he knows I love 
feelings rather than details, that he is unconsciously flatter- 
ing to my subtlety, after two miles through black, though 
lovely, shadows. 

Now he is picking the spots where lights are shining from 
the fish shops. He knows their locations, knows their lights 
because he has studied them well. There are forms slinking 
gracefully, as though on location and with rehearsed move- 
ment. What an effect for a camera! 

This is rugged. Here are 'the robust of the slums. People 
act more quickly here than in Lambeth. And suddenly we 
are back where we started. In a car we go to Huxton, the 
old Britannia Huxton, rather reluctantly. 

There is a glaring moving-picture palace. What a pity! 
I resent its obtrusion. We go along toward the East Indian 
Rocks — to Shadwell. And I am feeling creepy with the 
horror of his stories of Shadwell. I could hear a child 
screaming behind a shuttered window and I wondered and 
imagined, but we did not stop anywhere. 

We meandered along with just an occasional gesture from 
him, all that was necessary to make his point. To Stanhope 


Road and Highgate, Bethnal Green, Spitalfields, RatcHffe, 
Soho, Nottingdale, and Camdentown. 

And through it all I have the feeling that things trivial, 
portentous, beautiful, sordid, cringing, glorious, simple, 
epochal, hateful, lovable things, are happening behind closed 
doors. I people all those shacks with girls, boys, murders, 
shrieks, life, beauty. 

As we go back to Highgate we talk of life in the world 
outside this adventurous Utopia. He tells me that he has 
never been outside of London, not even to Paris. This is 
very curious to me, but it doesn't seenvso as he says it. He 
tells me of another book that he has ready and of a play 
that he is working on for early production. We talked until 
three in the morning and I went back to my hotel with the 
same sort of feelings that I had at twelve when I sat up all 
night reading Stevenson's Treasure Island. 

The next day I did some shopping, going through the 
Burlington Arcade, where I was measured for boots. How 
different is shopping here! A graceful ceremony that is 
pleasing even to a man. The sole advertisement I see in 
the shop is "Patrons to His Majesty." It is all said in that 
one phrase. 

And the same methods have been in vogue at this boot- 
maker's for centuries. My foot is placed on a piece of 
paper and the outline drawn. Then measurements are taken 
of the instep, ankle and calf, as I want riding boots. Old- 
fashioned they will probably continue until the end of time, 
yet somehow I sort of felt that if that old shop had a tongue 
to put in its cheek, there it would be parked, because tradi- 
tion, as an aid to the cash register, is no novelty. 

In the evening I dined at the Embassy Club with Sonny, 
and was made an honorary member of the club. 

It is amazing how much Europe is aping America, par- 
ticularly with its dance music. In cafes you hear all the 
popular airs that are being played on Broadway. The 
American influence has been felt to such an extent that 
King Jazz is a imiversal potentate. Sonny and I go to the 


theater and see a part of the "League of Notions," but we 
leave early and I run in to say hello to Constance Collier, 
who is playing in London. 

The next day is exciting. Through the invitation of a 
third party I am to meet H. G. Wells at Stoll's office to view 
the first showing of Wells's picture, "Mr. Kipps." 

In the morning the telephone rings and I hear some one 
in the parlor say that the Prince of Wales is calling. I get 
in a blue funk, as does everyone else in the apartment, 
and I hear them rush toward the phone. But Ed Knobloch, 
claiming to be versed in the proper method of handling such 
a situation, convinces everyone that he is the one to do the 
talking and I relapse back into bed, but wider awake than 
I ever was in my life. 

Knobloch on the phone: 

"Are you there? . . . Yes. . . . Oh, yes . . . to-night. . . . 
Thank you." 

Kjiobloch turning from the phone announces, very for- 
mally, "The Prince of Wales wishes Charlie to dine with him 
to-night, ' ' and he starts toward my bedroom door. (Through 
all of this I have been in the bedroom, and the others are in 
the parlor confident, with the confidence of custom, that I 
am still asleep.) 

As Knobloch starts for my bedroom door my very Amer- 
ican secretary, in the very routine voice he has trained for 
such occurrences, says: 

"Don't wake him. Tell him to call later. Not before 
two o'clock." 

Knobloch : * * Good God, man ! This is the Prince of Wales, ' ' 
and he launches into a monologue regarding the traditions 
of England and the customs of court and what a momentous 
occasion this is, contemptuously observing that I am in 
bed and my secretary wants him to tell the Prince to call 
later! He cannot get the American viewpoint. 

Knobloch's sincere indignation wins, and the secretary 
backs away from the bedroom as I plunge under the covers 
and feign sleep. Ejtiobloch comes in very dignified and, 


trying to keep his voice in the most casual tone, announces, 
"Keep to-night open to dine with the Prince of Wales." 

I try to enter into it properly, but I feel rather stiff so 
early in the morning. I try to remonstrate with him for 
having made the engagement. I have another engagement 
with H. G. Wells, but I am thrilled at the thought of dining 
with the Prince in Buckingham Palace. I can't do it. What 
must I do? 

Knobloch takes me in hand. He repeats the message. 
I think some one is spoofing and tell him so. I am very 
suspicious, and the thrill leaves me as I remember that the 
Prince is in Scotland, shooting. How could he get back? 

But Knobloch is practical. This must go through. And 
I think he is a bit sore at me for my lack of appreciation. 
He would go to the palace himself and find out everything. 
He goes to the palace to verify. 

I can't tell his part of it^ — he was very vague — but I 
gathered that when he reached there he found all the fur- 
niture under covers, and I can hear that butler now saying : 

' ' His Highness the Prince will not be back for several days, 

Poor Ed ! It was quite a blow for him, and, on the level, 
I was a bit disappointed myself. 

But I lost no time mooning over my lost chance to dine 
with royalty, for that afternoon I was going to rneet Wells. 
Going to Stoll's, I was eagerly looking forward to a quiet 
little party where I could get off somewhere with Wells and 
have a long talk. 

As I drew near the office, however, I noticed crowds, 
the same sort of crowds that I had been dodging since my 
exit from Los Angeles. It was a dense mass of humanity 
packed around the entire front of the building, waiting for 
something that had been promised them. And then I knew 
that it was an arranged affair and that, so far as a chat was 
concerned, Wells and I were just among those present, even 
though we were the guests of honor. 

I remember keenly the crush in the elevator, a tiny little 


affair built for about six people and carrying nearer sixty. 
I get the viewpoint of a sardine quite easily. Upstairs it 
is not so bad, and I am swept into a room where there are 
only a few people, and the door is then closed. I look all 
around, trying to spot Wells. There he is. 

I notice his beautiful, dark-blue eyes first. Keen and 
kindly they are, twinkling just now as though he were in- 
wardly smiling, perhaps at my very apparent embarrassment. 

Before we can get together, however, there comes forward 
the camera brigade with its flashlight ammunition. Would 
we pose together ? Wells looks hopeless. I must show that 
before cameras I am very much of a person, and I take the 
initiative with the lens peepers. 

We are photoed, sitting, standing, hats on and off, and 
in every other stereotyped position known to camera men. 

We sign a number of photos, I in my large, .sweeping, 
sprawling hand — I remember handling the pen in a dashing, 
swashbuckling manner — ^then Wells, in his small, hardly 
discernible style. I am very conscious of this difference, 
and I feel as though I had started to sing aloud before a 
group of grand-opera stars. 

Then there is a quick-sketch artist for whom we pose. 
He does his work rapidly, however, and while he is drawing 
Wells leans over and whispers in my ear. 

"We are the goats," he tells me. "I was invited here to 
meet you and you were probably invited here to meet me." 

He had called the turn perfectly, and when we had both 
accepted the invitation our double acceptance had been used 
to make the showing an important event. I don't think that 
Wells liked it. 

Wells and I go into the dark projection room and I sit 
with Wells. I feel on my mettle almost immediately, sitting 
at his side, and I feel rather glad that we are spending our 
first moments in an atmosphere where I am at home. In 
his presence I feel critical and analytical and I decide to tell 
the truth about the picture at all costs. I feel that Wells 
would do the same thing about one of mine. 


As the picture is reeling off I whisper to him my likes and 
dislikes, principally the faulty photography, though occa- 
sionally I detect bad direction. Wells remains perfectly 
silent and I begin to feel that I am not breaking the ice. It 
is impossible to get acquainted under these conditions. 
Thank God, I can keep silent, because there is the picture 
to watch and that saves the day. 

Then Wells whispers, "Don't you think the boy is good?" 

The boy in question is right here on the other side of me, 
watching his first picture, I look at him. Just starting out 
on a new career, vibrant with ambition, eager to make good, 
and his first attempt being shown before such an audience. 
As I watch he is almost in tears, nervous and anxious. 

The picture ends. There is a mob clustering about. 
Directors and officials look at me. They want my opinion 
of the picture. I shall be truthful. Shall I criticize ? Wells 
nudges me and whispers, "Say something nice about the 
boy." And I look at the boy and see what Wells has already 
seen and then I say the nice things about him. Wells's 
kindness and consideration mean so much more than a mere 

Wells is leaving and we are to meet for dinner, and I am 
left alone to work my way through the crush to the taxi 
and back to the hotel, where I snatch a bit of a nap. I 
want to be in form for Wells. 

There comes a little message from Wells : 

Don't forget the dinner. You can wrap up in a cloak if you deem it 
advisable, and slip in about 7.30 and we can dine in peace. 

H. G. Wells. 
Whitehall Court, Entrance 4. 

We talk of Russia and I find no embarrassment in airing 
my views, but I soon find myself merely the questioner. 
Wells talks ; and, though he sees with the vision of a dreamer, 
he brings to his views the practical. As he talks he appears 
very much like an American. He seems very yoimg and 
full of "p^." 


There is the general feeling that conditions will right 
themselves in some way. Organization is needed, he says, 
and is just as important as disarmament. Education is the 
only salvation, not only of Russia, but of the rest of the 
world. Socialism of the right sort will come through proper 
education. We discuss my prospects of getting into Russia. 
I want to see it. Wells tells me that I am at the wrong time 
of the year, that the cold weather coming on would make 
the trip most inadvisable. 

I talk about going to Spain, and he seems surprised to 
hear that I want to see a bull fight. He asks, "Why?" 

I don't know, except that there is something so nakedly 
elemental about it. There is a picturesque technic about it 
that must appeal to any artist. Perhaps Frank Harris's 
"Matador" gave me the impulse, together with my per- 
petual quest far a new experience. He says it is too cruel 
to the horses. 

I relax as the evening goes on and I find that I am liking 
him even more than I expected. About midnight we go out 
on a balcony just off his library, and in the light of a full 
moon we get a gorgeous view of London. Lying before us 
in the soft, mellow rays of the moon, London looks as though 
human, and I feel that we are rather in the Peeping Tom 

I exclaim, "The indecent moon." 

He picks me up. ' * That's good. Where did you get that ? ' ' 

I have to admit that it is not original — that it belongs to 

Wells comments on my dappemess as he helps me on with 
my coat. "I see you have a cane with you." I was also 
wearing a silk hat. I wonder what Los Angeles and Holly- 
wood would say if I paraded there in this costume ? 

Wells tries on my hat, then takes my cane and twirls it. 
The effect is ridiculous, especially as just at the moment 
I notice the two yolumes of the Outline of History on his 

Strutting stagily, he chants, "You're quite the fellow, 


doncher know." We both laugh. Another virtue for Wells. 
He's human. 

I try to explain my dress. Tell him that it is my other 
self, a reaction from the everyday Chaplin, I have always 
desired to look natty and I have spurts of primness. Every- 
thing about me and my work is so sensational that I must 
get reaction. My dress is a part of it. I feel that it is a 
poor explanation of the paradox, but Wells thinks other- 

He says I notice things. That I am an observer and an 
analyst. I am pleased. I tell him that the only way I 
notice things is on the run. Whatever keenness of percep- 
tion I have is momentary, fleeting. I observe all in ten 
minutes or not at all. 

What a pleasant evening it is ! But as I walk along toward 
the hotel I feel that I have not met Wells yet. 

And I am going to have another opportunity. I am going 
to have a week-end with him at his home in Easton, a week- 
end with Wells at home, with just his family. That alone 
is worth the entire trip from Los Angeles to Europe. 




THE hotel next day is teeming with activity. My secre- 
taries are immersed in mail and, despite the assistance 
of six girls whom they have added temporarily to our forces, 
the mail bags are piling up and keeping ahead of us. 

In a fit of generosity or ennui or something I pitch in and 
help. It seems to be the most interesting thing I have 
attempted on the trip. Why didn't I think of it sooner? 
Here is drama. Here is life in abundance. Each letter I 
read brings forth new settings, new characters, new prob- 
lems. I find myself picking out many letters asking for 
charity. I lay these aside. 

I have made up my mind to go to France immediately. 

I call Carl Robinson. I tell him that we are going to 
France, to Paris, at once. Carl is not surprised. He has 
been with me for a long time. We decide that we tell no- 
body and perhaps we can escape ceremonies. We will keep 
the apartment at the Ritz and keep the stenographers work- 
ing, so that callers will think that we are hiding about 
London somewhere. 

We are going to leave on Sunday and our plans are per- 
fected in rapid-fire order. We plunge about in a terrible 
rush as we try to arrange everything at the last minute 
without giving the appearance of arranging anything. 

And in spite of everything, there is a mob at the station 
to see us off and autograph books are thrown at me from all 
sides. I sign for as many as I can and upon the others I 



bestow my "prop" grin. Wonder if I look like Doug when 
I do this? 

We meet the skipper. What does one ask skippers? Oh 
yes, how does it look to-day for crossing? As I ask, I cast 
my weather eye out into the Channel and it looks decidedly 
rough to me. 

But the skipper's "just a bit choppy" disarms me. 

I am eager to get on the boat, and the first person I meet 
is Baron Long, owner of a hotel in San Diego. Good heav- 
ens! Can't I ever get away from Hollywood? I am glad to 
see him, but not now. He is very clever, however. He senses 
the situation, smiles quick "hellos," and then makes himself 
scarce. In fact, I think he wanted to get away himself. 
Maybe he was as anxious for a holiday as I. 

I am approached on the boat by two very charming girls. 
They want my autograph. Ah, this is nice ! I never enjoyed 
writing my name more. 

How I wish that I had learned French. I feel hopelessly 
sunk, because after about three sentences in French I am a 
total loss so far as conversation is concerned. One girl 
promises to give me a French lesson. This promises to be a 
pleasant trip. 

I am told that in France they call me Chariot. We are 
by this time strolling about the boat and bowing every other 
minute. It is getting rough and I find myself saying I rather 
like it that way. Liar. 

She is speaking. I smile. She smiles. She is talking in 
French. I am getting about every eighth word. I can't seem 
to concentrate. French is so difficult. Maybe it's the boat. 

I am dying rapidly. I feel like a dead weight on her arm. 
I can almost feel myself get pale as I try to say something, 
anything. I am weak and perspiring. I blurt out, "I beg 
pardon," and then I rush off to my cabin and lie down. Oh, 
why did I leave England? Something smells horrible. I 
look up. My head is near a new pigskin bag. Yes, that's 
it, that awful leathery smell. But I have company. Robin- 
son is in the cabin with me and we are matching ailments. 


Thus we spent the trip from Dover to Calais and I was 
as glad to get to the French coast as the Kaiser would have 
been had he kept that dinner engagement in Paris. 

Nearing France, I am almost forgetting my sickness. 
There is something in the atmosphere. Something vibrant. 
The tempo of life is faster. The springs in its mechanism 
are wound taut. I feel as if I would like to take it apart 
and look at those springs. 

I am met by the chief of police, which surprised me, 
because I was confident that I had been canny enough to 
make a getaway this time. But no. The boat enters the 
quay and I see the dock crowded with people. Some treach- 
ery. Hats are waving, kisses are being thrown, and there 
are cheers. Cheers that I can only get through the expres- 
sion, because they are in French and I am notoriously 
deficient in that language. 

''Vive le Chariot!" "Bravo, Chariot!" 

I am * ' Charioted ' ' all over the place. Strange, this foreign 
tongue. Wonder why a universal language isn't practicable ? 
They are crowding about me, asking for autographs. Or 
at least I think they are, because they are pushing books in 
my face, though for the life of me I can't make out a word 
of their chatter. But I smile. God bless that old "prop" 
grin, because they seem to like it. 

Twice I was kissed. I was afraid to look around to see 
who did it, because I knew I was in France. And you've got 
to give me the benefit of the doubt. I am hoping that both 
kisses came from pretty girls, though I do think that at 
least one of those girls should shave. 

They examine my signature closely. They seem puzzled. 
I look. It is spelled right. Oh, I see! They expected 
"Chariot." And I write some more with "Chariot." 

I am being bundled along to a funny little French train. 
It seems like a toy. But I am enjoying the difference. 
Everything is all changed. The new money, the new lan- 
guage, the new faces, the new architecture — it's a grown- ap 
three-ring circus to me. The crowd gives a concerted cheef 


as the train pulls out and a few intrepid ones run alongside 
until distanced by steam and steel. 

We go into the diner and here is a fresh surprise. The 
dinner is table d'hote and three waiters are serving it. Every- 
one is served at once, and as one man is taking up the soup 
plates another is serving the next course. Here is French 
economy — economy that seems very sensible as they have 
perfected it. It seems so different from America, where 
waiters always seem to be falling over one another in diners. 
And wines with the meal ! And the check ; it did not resem- 
ble in size the national debt, as dinner checks usually do in 

It has started to rain as we arrive in Paris, which adds to 
my state of excitement, and a reportorial avalanche falls 
upon me. I am about overcome. How did reporters know 
I was coming? The crowd outside the station is almost as 
large as the one in London. 

I am still feeling the effects of my seasickness. I am not 
equal to speaking nor answering questions. We go to the 
customs house and one journalist, finding us, suggests and 
points another way out. I am sick. I must disappoint the 
crowd, and I leap into a taxi and am driven to Claridge's 

"Out of the frying pan." Here are more reporters. And 
they speak nothing but French. The hubbub is awful. We 
talk to one another. We shout at one another. We talk 
slowly. We spell. We do everything to make Frenchmen 
understand English, and Englishmen understand French, 
but it is no use. One of them manages to ask me what I 
think of Paris. 

I answer that I never saw so many Frenchmen in my 
life. I am looking forward eagerly to meeting Cami, the 
famous French cartoonist. We have been corresponding 
for several years, he sending me many drawings and I 
sending him still photos from pictures. We had built 
up quite a friendship and I have been looking forward 
to a meeting. I see him. 


He is coming to me and we are both smiling broadly as 
we open our arms to each other. 



Otir greeting is most effusive. And then something goes 
wrong. He is talking in French, a blue streak, with the 
rapidity of a machine gun. I can feel my smile fading into 
blankness. Then I get an inspiration. I start talking in 
English just as rapidly. Then we both talk at once. It's 
the old story of the irresistible force and the immovable 
body. We get nowhere. 

Then I try talking slowly, extremely slow. 

* * Do — ^you — understand ? " 

It means nothing. We both realize at the same time 
what a hopeless thing our interview is. We are sad a bit, 
then we smile at the absurdity of it. He is still Cami and 
I am still Chariot, so we grin and have a good time, anyhow. 

He stays to dinner, which is a hectic meal, for through it 
all I am tasting this Paris, this Paris that is waiting for me. 
We go out and to the Folies Bergere. Paris does not seem 
as light as I expected it to be. 

And the Folies Bergere seems shabbier. I remember hav- 
ing played here once myself with a pantomime act. How 
grand it looked then. Rather antiquated now. Somehow 
it saddened me, this bit of memory that was chased up 
before me. 

Next day there is a luncheon with Dudley Field M alone 
and Waldo Frank. It is a brisk and vivacious meal except 
when it is broken up by a visit from the American newspaper 

"Mr. Chaplin, why did you come to Europe?" 

"Are you going to Russia?" 

"Did you call on Shaw?" 

They must have cabled over a set of questions. I went 
all over the catechism for them and managed to keep the 
"prop" grin at work. I wouldn't let them spoil Paris 
for me. 



We escape after a bit, and back at the hotel I notice an 
air of formality creeping into the atmosphere as I hear 
voices in the parlor of my suite. Then my secretary comes 
in and announces that a very important personage is calling 
and would speak with me. 

He enters, an attractive-looking gentleman, and he speaks 

"Mr. Chaplin, that I am to you talk of greetings from the 
heart of the people with France, that you make laugh. 
Cannot you forego to make showing of yourself with charity 
sometime for devastated France? On its behalf, I say to 

I tell him that I will take it up later. 

He smiles, "Ah, you are boozy." 

"Oh no. I haven't had a drink for several days," I hasten 
to inform him. "I am busy and want to get to bed early 

But Malone butts in with, "Oh yes, he's very boozy." 

And I get a bit indignant until Malone tells me that the 
Frenchman means "busy." 

Then I am told that there is one young journalist still 
waiting who has been here all day, refusing to go until I 
have seen him. And I tell them to bring him in. He comes 
in smiling in triumph. 

And he can't speak English. 

After his hours of waiting we cannot talk. 

I feel rather sorry for him and we do our best. Finally, 
with the aid of about everyone in the hotel he manages to 

"Do you like France?" 

"Yes," I answer. 

He is satisfied. 

Waldo Frank and I sit on a bench in the Champs Elysees 
and watch the wagons going to market in the early morning. 
Paris seems most beautiful to me just at this time. 

What a city! What is the force that has made it what 
it is? Could anyone conceive such a creation, such a land 


of continuous gayety? It is a masterpiece among cities, the 
last word in pleasure. Yet I feel that something has hap- 
pened to it, something that they are trying to cover by 
heightened plunges into song and laughter. 

We stroll along the boulevard and it is growing light. I 
am recognized and we are being followed. We are passing 
a church. There is an old woman asleep on the steps, but 
she does not seem worn and haggard. There is almost a 
smile on her face as she sleeps. She typifies Paris to me. 
Hides her poverty behind a smile. 

Sir Philip Sassoon, who is the confidential secretary to 
Lloyd George, calls the next day with Georges Carpentier, 
the pugilistic idol of France, and we are photographed many 
times, the three of us together, and separately. 

I am quite surprised that Sir Philip is such a young man. 
I had pictured the secretary of Lloyd George as rather a 
dignified and aged person. He makes an appointment for 
me to dine with Lord and Lady Rock-Savage the next day. 
Lady Rock-Savage is his sister. 

I also lunch with them the next day, and then to a very 
fashionable modiste's for some shopping. This is my first 
offense of this sort. I meet Lady Astor, who is shopping 
there also. 

It was quite a treat for me, watching the models in this 
huge, elaborate institution that was really a palace in ap- 
pointments. In fact, it greatly resembled the palace at 

I felt very meek when tall, suave creatures strolled out 
and swept past me, some imperious, some contemptuous. 
It was a studied air, but they did it well. I wonder what 
effect it has on^the girl's mind as she parades herself before 
the high-born ladies and gentlemen. 

But I catch the imperfection in their schooling. It is 
very amusing to watch them strut about until their display 
is made, and then, their stint done, slouch back into the 
dressing-rooms sans carriage and manner. 

And then, too, I am discovered- This also causes a break 


in the spell of their queenly stroll. They are laughing and 
at the same time trying to maintain the dignity due the 
gowns they are wearing. They become self-conscious and 
the effect is ludicrous. I am demoralizing the institution, 
so we get away. I would like to talk to some of the models, 
but it can't be done very well. 

From there we go to a candy store, where I lay in a supply 
of chocolates and preserved fruits for my trip into Germany 
the next day. I am invited by Sir Philip to visit him at his 
country home in Lympe, Kent, on my return from Germany. 

That evening I go with a party of Dudley Field Malone's 
to the Palais Royale in the Montmartre district. This is a 
novelty. Different. Seems several steps ahead of America. 
And it has atmosphere, something entirely its own, that you 
feel so much more than the tangible things about you. 

There is a woman wearing a monocle. A simple touch, 
but how it changes ! The fashions here proclaim themselves 
even without comparison and expert opinion. The music is 
simple, exotic, neurotic. Its simplicity demands attention. 
It reaches inside you instead of affecting your feet. 

They are dancing a tango. It is entertainment just to 
watch them. The pauses in the music, its dreamy cadences, 
its insinuation, its suggestiveness, its whining, almost mo- 
notonous swing. It is tropical yet, this Paris. And I 
realize that Paris is at a high pitch. Paris has not yet 
had relief from the cloddy numbness brought on with 
the war. I wonder will relief come easily or will there 
be a conflagration. 

I meet Doughie, the correspondent. We recall our first 
meeting in the kitchen of Christine's in Greenwich Village. 

It is soon noised about that I am here and our table takes 
on the atmosphere of a reception. What a medley ! 

Strangely garbed artists, long-haired poets, news-sheet 
and flower vendors, sight -seers, students, children, and co- 
cottes. Presently came Miss Iris Tree, the poet, her lovely 
golden hair gleaming in the tavern light, and she with the 
air and figure of a mediaeval page. 


It is good to see her again and we fix up a bit of a party 
and get into Dudley's petrol wagon, and as we bowl along 
we sing songs, ancient songs of the music halls, "After the 
Ball," "The Man that Broke the Bank of Monte Carlo," 
and many another which I had not thought of in years. 
Presently the wagon becomes balky and will not continue. 
So we all pile out and into a tavern near by, where we call 
for wine. 

And Dudley played upon the tin-pan-sounding piano. 
There came one, a tall, strange, pale youth, who asked if we 
would like to go to the haunt of the Agile Rabbit. Thence 
uphill and into a cavernous place. When the patron came 
the youth ordered wine for us. Somehow I think he sensed 
the fact that I wanted to remain incognito. 

The patron was such a perfect host. Ancient and white 
bearded, he served us with a finesse that was pure artistry. 
Then at his command one named Rene Chedecal, with a 
sad, haunted face, played upon the violin. 

That little house sheltered music that night. He played 
as if from his soul, a me-ssage yearning, passionate, sad, gay, 
and we were speechless before the emotional beauty and 
mystery of it. 

I was overcome. I wanted to express my appreciation, 
but could do no more than grasp his hand. Genius breeds 
in strange places and humble. 

And then the bearded one sang a song that he said the fol- 
lowers of Lafayette had sung before they left France for 
America. And all of us joined in the chorus, singing "Apris 
de ma blonde" lustily. 

Then a young chap did two songs from Verlaine, and a 
poet with considerable skill recited from his own poems. 
How effective for the creator of a thought to interpret it. 
And afterward the violin player gave us another selection of 
great beauty, one of his own compositions. 

Then the old patron asked me to put my name in his 
ledger, which contained many names of both humble and 
famous. I drew a picture of my hat, cane, and boots, which 


is my favorite autograph. I wrote, "I would sooner be a 
gypsy than a movie man," and signed my name. 

Home in the petrol wagon, which by this time had become, 
manageable again. An evening of rareness. Beauty, excite- 
ment, sadness and contact with human, lovable personalities. 

Waldo Frank called the next day, bringing with him 
Jacques Copeau, one of the foremost dramatists and actors 
in France, who manages and directs in his own theater. We 
go to the circus together and I never saw so many sad-faced 
clowns. We dine together, and late that night I have sup- 
per with Copeau's company in a cafe in the Latin Quarter. 
It is a gay evening, lasting until about three in the morning. 

Frank and I set out to walk home together, but the section 
is too fascinating. Along about four o'clock we drift into 
another cafe, dimly lit but well attended. We sit there for 
some time, studying the various occupants. 

Over in one corner a young girl has just leaned over and 
kissed her sailor companion. No one seems to notice. All 
the girls here seem young, but their actions stamp their 
vocations. Music, stimulating, exotic, and for the dance, is 
being played. The girls are very much alive. They are 
putting their hats on the men's heads. 

There are three peasant farmer boys, in all probability. 
They seem very much embarrassed as three tiny girls, bright 
eyed and red lipped, join them for a drink. I can see fire 
smoldering in their dull faces in spite of their awkwardness 
in welcoming the girls. 

An interesting figure, Corsican, I should say, is very con- 
spicuous. A gentleman by his bearing, debonair and grace- 
ful, he looks the very picture of an impecunious count. He 
is visiting all the tables in the cafe. At most of them he 
calls the girls by their first names. 

He is taking up a collection for the musicians. Everyone 
is contributing liberally. With each tinkle of a coin in the 
hat the Corsican bows elaborately and extends thanks. He 
finishes the collection. 

"On with the dance," he shouts. "Don't let the music 


stop," as he rattles the money. Then he puts his hand in 
his pocket and draws forth a single centime piece. It is 
very small, but his manner is that of a philanthropist. 

"I give something, no matter how small; you notice, 
ladies and gentlemen, that I give something," and he drops 
his coin in the hat and bows. 

The party progresses rapidly. They have started singing 
and have had just enough drink to make them matidlin. 
We leave. 



THE train to Germany left so late in the evening that it 
was impossible for me to see devastated France even 
though we passed through a considerable portion of it. Our 
compartment on the train is very stuffy and smelly and the 
train service is atrocious, food and sanitary conditions being 
intolerable after American train service. 

Again there is a crowd at the station to see me off, but I 
am rather enjoying it. A beautiful French girl presents me 
with a bouquet of flowers with a cute little speech, or at 
least I suppose it was, because she looked very cute deliver- 
ing it, and the pouts that the language gave to her red lips, 
were most provocative. She tells me in delicious broken 
English that I look tired and sad, and I find myself yielding 
without a struggle to her suggestion. 

We arrive at Joumont near the Belgian frontier along 
about midnight, and, like a message from home, there is a 
gang of American soldier boys at the station to greet me. 
And they are not alone, for French, Belgian, and British 
troops are also waving and cheering. I wanted to talk to the 
Belgians, and we tried it, but it was no use. What a pity! 

But one of them had a happy inspiration and saved the 

"Glass of beer. Chariot?" 

I nod, smiling. And to my surprise they bring me beer, 
which I lift to my lips for politeness, and then drink it to 
the last drop in pure pleasure. It is very good beer. 


There is a group of charming Httle Belgian girls. They 
are smiling at me shyly and I so want to say something to 
them. But I can't. Ah, the bouquet! Each little girl gets 
a rose and they are delighted. 

"Merci, merci, monsieur." And they keep "merciing" 
and bowing until the train pulls out of the station, which 
emboldens them to join the soldiers in a cheer. 

Through an opening between the railroad structures I 
see a brilliant lighting display. It is universal, this sign. 
Here is a movie in this tiny village. What a wonderful 
medium, to reach such an obscure town. 

On the train I am being told that my pictures have not 
played in Germany, hence I am practically unknown there. 
This rather pleases me because I feel that I can relax and be 
away from crowds. 

Everyone on the train is nice and there is no trouble. 
Conductors struggle with English for my benefit, and the 
customs officers make but little trouble. In fact, we cross 
the border at three in the morning and I am asleep. Next 
morning I find a note from the customs man saying : ' ' Good 
luck, Charlie. You were sleeping so soundly that I did not 
have the heart to wake you for inspection." 

Germany is beautiful. Germany belies the war. There 
are people crowding the fields, tilling the soil, working fever- 
ishly all the time as our train rushes through. Men, women, 
and children are all at work. They are facing their problem 
and rebuilding. A great people, perverted for and by a few. 

The different style of architecture here is interesting. 
Factories are being built everywhere. Surely this isn't 
conquered territory. I do not see much live stock in the 
fields. This seems strange. 

A dining car has been put on the train and the waiter 
comes to our compartment to let us know that we may eat. 
Here is a novelty. A seven-course dinner, with wine, soup, 
meat, vegetables, salad, dessert, coffee, and bread for 
twenty-eight cents. This is made possible by the low rate 
of exchange. 


We go to the Adlon Hotel in Berlin and find that hostelry 
jammed, owing to the auto races which are being run off at 
this time. A different atmosphere here. It seems hard for 
me to relax and get the normal reaction to meeting people. 
They don't know me here. I have never been heard of. It 
interests me and I believe I resent it just a bit. 

I notice how abrupt and polite the Germans are to for- 
eigners, and I detect a tinge of bitterness, too. I am won- 
dering about my pictures making their debut here. I ques- 
tion the power of my personality without its background of 

I am feeling more restful under this disinterested treat- 
ment, but somehow I wish that my pictures had been 
shown here. The people at the hotel are very courteous. 
They have been told that I am the "white-headed boy and 
quite the guy in my home town." Their reactions are amus- 
ing. I am not very impressive-looking and they are finding 
it hard to believe. 

There is quite a crowd in the lobby and a number of 
Americans and English. They are not long in finding me, 
and a number of English, French, and American reporters 
start making a fuss over me. The Geimans just stand and 
look on, bewildered. 

Carl von Weigand comes forward with the offer of the use 
of his office while I am here. The Germans are impressed 
with all this, but they show no enthusiasm. I am accepted 
in an offhand way as some cae of importance and they let 
it go at that. 

The Scala Theater, where I spent the evening, is most 
interesting, though I think a bit antiquated when compared 
with English and American theatrical progress along the 
same lines. It seats about five thousand, mostly on one 
floor, with a very small balcony. It is of the variety, music- 
hall type, showing mostly "dumb" acts. Acts that do not 
talk or sing, like comic jugglers, acrobats, and dancers. 

I am amused by a German comedian singing a song of 
about twenty verses, but the audience is enthused and voices 


its approval at every verse. During the intermission we 
have frankfurters and beer, which are served in the theater. 
I notice the crowds. They go to the theater there as a fam- 
ily. It is just that type of an affair. 

I notice the different types of beauty, though beauty is 
not very much in evidence here. Here and there are a few 
pretty girls, but not many. It is interesting to watch the 
people strolling during the intermission, drinking lager and 
eating all sorts of food. 

Leaving the theater, we visit the Scala Cafe, a sort of 
impressionistic casino. The Scala is one of the largest cafes 
in Berlin, where the modernist style in architecture has been 
carried out fully. 

The walls are deep mottled sea green, shading into light 
verdigris and emerald, leaning outward at an angle, thereby 
producing an effect of collapse and forward motion. The 
junction of the walls and the ceiling is, broken into irregular 
slabs of stone, like the strata of a cave. Behind these the 
lights are hidden, the whole system of illumination being 
based on reflection. 

The immense dislocation of the planes and angles of the 
vaultlike ceiling is focused on the central point, the huge 
silver star or crystal bursting like an exploding bomb through 
the roof. The whole effect is weird, almost ominous. The 
shape of the room in its ground plan is itself irregular — the 
impression is that of a frozen catastrophe. Yet this feeling 
seems to be in accord with the mood of revelers in Germany 

From there to the Palais Heinroth, the most expensive 
place in Berlin and the high spot of night life. It is con- 
spicuous in its brilliance, because Berlin as a city is so badly 
lighted. At night the streets are dark and gloomy, and it 
is then that one gets the effect of war and defeat. 

At the Heinroth everybody was in evening dress. We 
weren't. My appearance did not cause any excitement. 
We check our hats and coats and ask for a table. The man- 
ager shrugs his shoulders. There is one in the back, a most 


obscure part of the room. This brings home forcibly the 
absence of my reputation. It nettled me. Well, I wanted 
rest. This was it. 

We are about to accept humbly the isolated table, when I 
hear a shriek and I am slapped on the back and there's a 


It is Al Kaufman of the Lasky corporation and manager 
of the Famous Players studio in Berlin. 

* ' Come over to our table. Pola Negri wants to meet you. ' ' 

Again I come into my own. The Germans look on, won- 
dering. I have created attention at last. I discover that 
there is an American jazz band in the place. In the middle 
of a number they stop playing and shout : 

"Hooray for Charlie Chaplin!" 

The proprietor shrugs his shoulders and the band resumes 
playing. I learn that the musicians are former American 
doughboys. I feel rather pleased that I have impressed the 
Germans in the place. 

In our party were Rita Kaufman, wife of Al, Pola Negri, 
Carl Robinson, and myself. 

Pola Negri is really beautiful. She is Polish and really 
true to the type. Beautiful jet-black hair, white, even teeth 
and wonderful coloring. I think it such a pity that such 
coloring does not register on the screen. 

She is the center of attraction here. I am introduced. 
What a voice she has! Her mouth speaks so prettily the 
German language. Her voice has a soft, mellow quality, 
with charming inflections. Offered a drink, she clinks my 
glass and offers her only English words, "Jazz boy Charlie." 

Language again stumps me. What a pity ! But with the 
aid of a third party we get along famously. Kaufman whis- 
pers: "Charlie, you've made a hit. She just told me that 
you are charming." 

"You tell her that she's the loveliest thing I've seen in 
Europe." These compliments keep up for some time, and 
then I ask Kaufman how to say, "I think you are divine" 


in German. He tells me something in German and I repeat 
it to her. 

She's startled and looks up and slaps my hand. " Naughty- 
boy," she says. 

The table roars. I sense that I have been double-crossed 
by Kaufman. What have I said ? But Pola joins in the joke, 
and there is no casualty. I learn later that I have said, "I 
think you are terrible." I decided to go home and learn 

As I am going out the proprietor approaches and very 
formally addresses me: "I beg pardon, sir. I understand 
that you are a great man in the United States. Accept my 
apologies for not knowing, and the gates here are always 
open to you." I accept them formally, though through it 
all I feel very comic opera. I didn't like the proprietor. 

I want to go through the German slums. I mention such 
a trip to a German newspaper man. I am told that I am just 
like every Londoner and New-Yorker who comes to Berlin 
for the first time; that I want the Whitechapel district, the 
Bowery of Berlin, and that there is no such district. Once 
upon a time there were hovels in Berlin, but they have long 
since disappeared. 

This to me is a real step toward civilization. 

My newspaper friend tells me that he will give me the 
next best thing to the slums, and we go to Krogel. What a 
picture could be made here! I am fascinated as I wander 
through houses mounted on shaky stilts and courts ancient 
but cleanly. 

Then we drove to Acker Street and gazed into courts and 
basements. In a cafe we talked to men and women and 
drank beer. I almost launched a new war when, wishing to 
pay a charge of one hundred and eighty marks, I pulled from 
my pocket a roll of fifty one-thousand-mark notes. 

My friend paid the check quickly with small change and 
hustled me out, telling me of the hard faces and criminal 
types who were watching. He's probably right, but I love 
those poor, humble people. 


We drove to the arbor colonies in the northern part of the 
city, stopping at some of the arbors to talk to the people. 
I feel that I would like to eat dinner here among these peo- 
ple, but I haven't sufficient courage to persuade my com- 
panion, who wouldn't think of it. Passing through the 
northern part of Berlin, I found many beauties which, my 
friend let me know, were not considered beautiful at all. 

He even suggested that he show me something in contrast 
with all I had seen. I told him no, that it would spoil my 
whole viewpoint. 

It has been rather a restful experience, going through the 
whole town without being recognized, but even as I am 
thinking it a fashionable lady and her young daughter pass, 
and by their smiles I know that I am again discovered. 

And then we meet Fritz Kreisler and his wife, who are 
just leaving for Munich. We have quite a chat and then 
make tentative engagements to be carried out in Los Angeles 
on his next trip there. 

I notice that the Germans seem to be scrupulously honest, 
or maybe this was all the more noticeable to me because of 
genial and unsuspicious treatment by a taxi driver. We 
left the cab many times and were gone as long as half an 
hour at a time, and out of sight, yet he always waited and 
never suggested that he be paid beforehand. 

In the business section we pass many cripples with embit- 
tered, sullen looks on their faces. They look as though they 
had paid for something which they hadn't received. We are 
approached by a legless soldier beggar in a faded German 
uniform. Here was the war's mark. These sights you will 
find on every side in Berlin. 

I am presented with a police card to the Berliner Club, 
which is evidently a technicality by which the law is cir- 
cumvented. Berlin is full of such night-life clubs. They are 
somewhat like the gatherings that prohibition has brought 
to America. 

There are no signs, however, from the outside of any 
activity, and you are compelled to go up dark passages an4 


suddenly come upon gayly lit rooms very similar to Parisian 

Dancing and popping corks are the first impression as I 
enter. We are taken in hand by two girls and they order 
drinks for us. The girls are very nervous. In fact, the whole 
night life of this town seems to be nervous, neurotic, over- 

The girls dance, but very badly. They do not seem to 
enjoy it and treat it as part of the job. They are very much 
interested in my friend, who seems to have the money for 
the party. On these occasions my secretary always carries 
the family roll, and they are paying much attention to him. 

I sit here rather moody and quiet, though one of the girls 
works hard to cheer me up. I hear her asking Robinson 
what is the matter with me. I smile and become courteous. 
But, her duty done, she turns again to Robinson. 

I am piqued. Where is that personality of mine? I have 
been told many times that I have it. But here it is con- 
vincingly shown that personality has no chance against 

But I am beginning to get so much attention from my 
friends that one of the girls is noticing me. She senses that 
I am some one important, but she can't quite make it out. 

"Who is this guy, an English diplomat?" she whispers to 
Robinson. He whispers back that I am a man of consider- 
able importance in the diplomatic service. I smile benevo- 
lently and they become more interested. 

I am treating her rather paternally and am feeling philo- 
sophical. I ask about her life. What is she doing with it? 
What ambitions? She is a great reader, she tells me, and 
likes Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. But she shrugs her 
shoulders in an indifferent and tragic manner and says, 
"What does it matter about life? 

"You make it what it is," she says. "In your brain alone 
it exists and effort is only necessary for physical comfort." 
We are becoming closer friends as she tells me this. 

But she must have some objective, there must be some 


dreams of the future still alive within her. I am very anx- 
ious to know what she really thinks. 

I ask her about the defeat of Germany. She becomes dis- 
creet at once. Blames it on the Kaiser. She hates war and 
militarism. That's all I can get out of her, and it is getting 
late and we must leave. Her future intrigues me, but does 
not seem to worry her. 

On the way home we stop in at Kaufman's apartment 
and have quite a chat about pictures and things back in 
Los Angeles. Los Angeles seems very far away. 

I am invited to a formal dinner party for the next evening 
at the home of Herr'Werthauer, one of the most prominent 
lawyers in all Europe and a chief of the Kaiser during the 
war. The occasion for the dinner was to celebrate the an- 
nouncement of Werthauer's engagement to his third wife. 

His is a wonderful home in the finest section of Berlin. 
At the party there are a number of his personal friends, Pola 
Negri, Al Kaufman, Mrs. Kaufman, Robinson, and myself. 

There is a Russian band playing native music all through 
the dinner and jazz music is also being dispensed by two 
orchestras made up of American doughboys who have been 
discharged, but have stayed on in Germany. 

For no reason at all, I think of the story of Rasputin. 
This seems the sort of house for elaborate murders. Perhaps 
it is the Russian music that is having this effect on me. 
There is a huge marble staircase whose cold austereness sug- 
gests all sorts of things designed to send chills up the spine. 
The servants are so impressive and the meal such a cere- 
mony that I feel that I am in a palace. The Russian folk- 
songs that are being dreamily whined from the strings of 
their peculiar instruments have a very weird effect and I 
find food and dining the least interesting things here. 

There is a touch of mystery, of the exotic, something so 
foreign though intangible, that I find myself searching 
everything and everybody, trying to delve deeper into this 

We are all introduced, but there are too many people 


for me to try to remember names. There are herrs, frau- 
leins, and fraus galore and I find it hard to keep even their 
sex salutations correct. Some one is making a long, formal 
speech in German, and everybody is watching him at- 

The host arises and offers a toast to his bride-to-be. 
Everyone rises and drinks to their happiness. The party is 
very formal and I can make nothing from the talk going on 
all about me. The host is talking and then all get up again 
with their glasses. Why, I don't know, but I get up with 

At this there is general laughter, and I wonder what 
calamity has befallen me. I wonder if my clothes are all 

Then I understand. The host is about to toast me. He 
does it in very bad English, though his gestures and tone 
make it most graceful. He is inclined to be somewhat 
pedantic and whenever he cannot think of the proper Eng- 
lish word he uses its German equivalent. 

As the various courses come the toasts are many. I am 
always about two bites late in getting to my feet with my 
glass. After I have been toasted about four times, Mrs. 
Kaufman leans over and whispers, "You should toast back 
again to the host and say something nice about his bride- 

I am almost gagged with the stage fright that grips me. 
If is the custom to toast back to the host and here I have 
been gulping down all kinds of toasts without a word. And 
he had been sitting there waiting for me. 

I rise and hesitate. "Mr. — " 

I feel a kick on the shins and I hear Mrs. Kaufman whisper 


I think she means the bride-to-be. "Mrs. — " No, she 
isn't that yet. Heavens ! this is terrible. 

I plunge in fast and furious. "My very best respects to 
your future wife." As I speak I look at a young girl at the 


head of the table whom I thought was the lucky woman. I 
am all wrong. I sit, conscious of some horrible mistake. 

He bows and thanks me. Mrs. Kaufman scowls and says : 
"That's not the woman. It's the one on the other side." 

I have a suppressed convulsion and almost die, and as she 
points out the real bride-to-be I find myself laughing hys- 
terically into my soup. Rita Kaufman is laughing with me. 
Thank heaven for a sense of humor. 

I am so weak and nervous that I am almost tempted to 
leave at once. The bride-to-be is reaching for her glass to 
return my salute, though unless she thinks I am cross-eyed 
I don't see how she knows I said anything nice to her. 

But she gets no chance to speak. There is launched a 
long-winded pedantic speech from the host, who says that 
on such rare occasions as this it is customary to uncork the 
best in the cellar. This point gets over in great shape and 
everybody is smiling. 

I even feel myself growing radiant. I was under the im- 
pression that the best had already been served. Didn't 
know he was holding back anything. With the promise of 
better wine I am tempted to trying another toast to the 



THE first night in Paris after our return from Germany 
we dined at Pioccardi's, then walked up to the arches of 
the old gates of Paris. Our intention was to visit the Louvre 
and see the statue of Venus de Milo, but it only got as far 
as intention. 

We drifted into the Montmartre district and stopped in 
Le Rate Mort, one of its most famous restaurants. As it is 
very early in the evening, there are very few people about, 
one reason why I picked out this place, which later in the 
night becomes the center of hectic revelry. 

Passing our table is a striking-looking girl with bobbed 
blond hair, shadowing beautiful, delicate features of pale 
coloring and soft, strange eyes of a violet blue. Her passing 
is momentary, but she is the most striking-looking girl I 
have seen in Europe. 

Although there are but few people here, I am soon recog- 
nized. The French are so demonstrative. They wave, 
"Hello, Chariot!" 

I am indifferent. I smile mechanically. I am tired. I 
shall go to bed early. I order champagne. 

The bobbed-hair one is sitting at a table near us. She 
interests me. But she doesn't turn so that I can see her 
face. She is sitting facing her friend, a dark, Spanish-looking 

J wish she'd turn. She has a beautiful profile, but I 


would like to see her full face again. She looked so lovely 
when she passed me. I recall that ghost of a smile that 
hovered near her mouth, showing just a bit of beautiful, 
even, white teeth. 

The orchestra is starting and dancers are swinging onto 
the floor. The two girls rise and join the dance. I will 
watch closely now and perhaps get another flash at her when 
she whirls by. 

There is something refined and distinguished about the 
little girl. She is different. Doesn't belong here. I am 
watching her very closely, though she has never once looked 
my way. I like this touch of the unusual in Montmartre. 
Still she may be just clever. 

She is passing me in the dance and I get a full view of her 
face. One of real beauty, with a sensitive mouth, smiling 
at her friend and giving a complete view of the beautiful 
teeth. Her face is most expressive. The music stops and 
they sit at their table. 

I notice that there is nothing on their table. They are 
not drinking. This is strange, here. Nor are there sand- 
wiches or coffee. I wonder who they are. That girl is some- 
body. I know it. 

She gets up as the orchestra plays a few strains of a plain- 
tive Russian thing. She is singing the song. Fascinating! 
An artist ! Why is she here ? I must know her. 

The song itself is plaintive, elemental, with the insinuating 
nuances that are vital to Russian music. The orchestra, 
with the violins and cellos predominant, is playing haunt- 
ingly, weaving a foreign exotic spell. 

She has poise, grace, and is compelling attention even in 
this place. There comes a bit of melancholy in the song 
and she sings it as one possessed, giving it drama, pathos. 
Suddenly there is a change. The music leaps to wild aban- 
don. She is with it. She tosses her head like a wild Hun- 
garian gypsy and gives fire to every note. But almost as 
it began, the abandon is over. With wistful sweetness, she 
is singing plaintively again. 


She is touching every human emotion in her song. At 
times she is tossing away care, then gently wooing, an 
elusive strain that is almost fairylike, that crescendos into 
tragedy, going into a crashing climax that diminishes into 
an ending, searching, yearning and wistfully sad. 

Her personality is written into every mood of the song. 
She is at once fine, courageous, pathetic and wild. She 
finished to an applause that reflected the indifference of the 
place. In spots it was spontaneous and insistent. In others 
little attention was paid to her. She is wasted here. 

But she cares not. In her face you can see that she gets 
her applause in the song itself. It was glorious, just to be 
singing with heart, soul and voice. She smiles faintly, then 
sits down modestly. 

I knew it. She is Russian. She has everything to suggest 
it. Full of temperament, talent and real emotional ability, 
hidden away here in Le Rate Mort. What a sensation she 
would be in America with a little advertising. This is just 
a thought, but all sorts of schemes present themselves to me. 

I can see her in "The Follies" with superb dressing and 
doing just the song she had done then. I did not under- 
stand a word of it, but I felt every syllable. Art is universal 
and needs no language. She has everything from gentle- 
ness to passion and a startling beauty. I am applauding 
too much, but she looks and smiles, so I am repaid. 

They dance again, and while they are gone I call the 
waiter and have him explain to the manager that I would 
like to be presented to her. The manager introduces her 
and I invite her to my table. She sits there with us, while 
her companion, the dark girl, does a solo dance. 

She talks charmingly and without restraint. She speaks 
three languages — Russian, French, and English. Her father 
was a Russian general during the Czar's reign. I can see 
now where she gets her imperious carriage. 

"Are you a Bolshevik?" 

She flushes as I ask it, and her lips pout prettily as she 
struggles with English. She seems all afire. 



"No, they are wicked. Bolshevik man, he's very bad." 
Her eyes flash as she speaks. 

"Then you are bourgeoisie?" 

"No, but not a Bolshevik." Her voice suggests a tre- 
mendous vitality, though her vocabulary is limited. "Bol- 
.shevik good idea for the mind, but not for practice." 

"Has it had a fair opportunity?" I ask her. 

"Plenty. My father, my mother, my brother all in Rus- 
sia and very poor. Mother is Bolshevik, father bourgeoisie. 
Bolshevik man very impudent to me. I want to kill him. 
He insult me. What can I do? I escape. Bolshevik good 
idea, but no good for life." 

"What of Lenin?" 

"Very clever man. He tried hard for Bolshevik — but no 
good for everybody — just in the head." 

I learn that she was educated in a convent and that she 
had lost all trace of her people. She earns her living singing 
here. She has been to the movies, but has never seen me. 
She "is go first chance because I am nice man." 

I ask her if she would like to go into moving pictures. 
Her eyes light up. "If I get opportunity I know I make 
success. But " — she curls her mouth prettily — "it's difficult 
to get opportunity." 

She is just twenty years old and has been in the cafe for 
two weeks, coming there from Turkey, to which country 
she fled following her escape from Russia. 

I explain that she must have photographic tests made and 
that I will try^ to get her a position in America. She puts 
everything into her eyes as she thanks me. She looks like 
a combination of Mary Pickford and Pola Negri plus her 
own distinctive beauty and personality. Her name is 
"Skaya." I write her full name and address in my book 
and promise to do all I can for her. And I mean to. We say 
"Good night," and she says she feels that I will do what I 
say. How has she kept hidden? 

Due at Sir Philip Sassoon's for a garden party the next 

day, I decide to go there in an airplane and I leave the Le 


Bourget aerodrome in Paris in a plane of La Compagnie des 
Messageries Aeriennes, and at special request the pilot 
landed me at Lympe in Kent and I thereby avoided the 
crowd that would have been on hand in London. 

It was quite thrilling and I felt that I made a very effective 
entrance to the party. 

And what a delightful retreat ! All the charm of an Eng- 
lish country home, and Sir Philip is a perfect host. I ^et 
English food and treatment. I have a perfect rest, with no 
duties, and entertainment as I desire it. A day and a half 
that are most pleasant ! 

Next day there is to be a ceremonial in the schooUiouse, 
when a memorial is to be unveiled. It is in honor of the 
boys of the town who had fallen. There are mothers, fathers, 
and many old people, some of them old in years, others aged 
by the trials of the war. 

The simple affair is most impressive and the streets are 
crowded on our way. I was to blame for an unhappy con- 
trast. Outside people were shouting, ' ' Hooray for Charlie ! " 
while inside souls were hushed in grief. 

Such a discordant note. I wished I had not been so promi- 
nent. I wanted everyone to bow in respect to these dead. 
The crowds did not belong outside. 

And inside, on the little children's faces, I could see con- 
flicting emotions. There is the reverence for the dead and 
yet there is eagerness as they steal glances at me. I wish I 
hadn't come. I feel that I am the disturbing element. 

From the school Sir Philip and I went to the Star and 
Garter hospital for wounded soldiers. Sheer tragedy was 

Young men suffering from spinal wounds, some of them 
with legs withered, some suffering from shell shock. No 
hope for them, yet they smiled. 

There was one whose hands were all twisted and he was 
painting signs with a brush held between his teeth. I looked 
at the signs. They were mottoes : "Never Saj'' Die." "Are 
We Downhearted?" A superman. 


Here is a lad who must take an anaesthetic whenever his 
nails are cut because of his twisted limbs. And he is smiling 
and to all appearances happy. The capacity that God gives 
for suffering is so tremendous, I marvel at their endurance. 

I inquire about food and general conditions. , They sug- 
gest that the food could be better. This is attended to. 

We are received politely and with smiles from the crippled 
lads who are crippled in flesh only. Their spirit is boisterous. 
I feel a puny atom as they shout, "Good luck to you, 

I can't talk. There is nothing for me to say. I merely 
smile and nod and shake hands whenever this is possible. 
I sign autographs for as many as ask and I ask them to give 
me their autographs. I honestly want them. 

One jovially says, "Sure, and Bill will give you one, too." 
There is an uproar of laughter and BiU laughs just as loud 
as the rest. Bill has no arms. 

But he bests them. He will sign at that. And he does. 
With his teeth. Such is their spirit. What is to become of 
them? That is up to you and me. 

Back to Sir Philip's, very tired and depressed. We dine 
late and I go to my room and read Waldo Frank's Dark 
Mothers. The next day there is tennis and music and in the 
evening I leave for London, where I am to meet H. G. 
Wells and go with him to his country home. 

I am looking forward to this Saturday, Sunday, and 
Monday as an intellectual holiday. I meet H. G. at White- 
hall and he is driving his own car. He is a very good chauf- 
feur, too. 

We talk politics and discuss the Irish settlement and I 
tell him of my trip to Germany. That leads to a discussion 
of the depreciation in the value of the mark. What will be 
the outcome? Wells thinks financial collapse. He thinks 
that marks issued as they are in Germany will be worthless. 

I am feeling more intimate and closer to him. There is 
no strain in talking, though I am still a bit self-conscious 
and find myself watching myself closely. 


We are out in the country, near Lady Warwick's estate, 
and H. G. tells me how the beautiful place is going to seed, 
that parts of it are being divided into lots and sold. 

The estate, with its live stock, is a show place. It is 
breeding time for the deer and from the road we can hear 
the stags bellowing. H. G. tells me they are dangerous at 
this time of the year. 

At the gate of the Wells estate a young lad of ten greets 
us with a jovial twinkling of the eye and a brisk manner. 
There is no mistaking him. He is H. G.'s son. There is the 
same molding of the structure and the same rounded face 
and eyes. H. G. must have looked that way at his age. 

"Hello, dad," as he jumps on the running board. 

"This is Charlie," H. G. introduces me. 

He takes my grip. "How do?" and I make a bromide 
about what a fine boy he is and all that sort of thing. 

Mrs. Wells is a charming little lady with keen, soft eyes 
that are always smiling and apparently searching and seek- 
ing something. A real gentlewoman, soft voiced, also with 
humorous lines playing around her mouth. 

Everyone seems busy taking me into the house, and once 
there H. G. takes me all over it, to my room, the dining room, 
the sitting room and, an extra privilege, to his study. "My 
workshop," he calls it. 

"Here's where the great events in the history of the world 
took place?" 

He smiles and says "yes." The Outline of History was 
born here. 

The room is not yet finished, and it is being decorated 
around the fireplace by paintings made by himself and wife. 
"I paint a bit," he explains. There is also some tapestry 
woven by his mother. 

"Here is a place if you want to escape when the strain is 
too much for you. Come here and relax." I felt that this 
was his greatest hospitality. But I never used the room. 
I had a feeling about that, too. 

The study is simple and very spare of furniture. There is 


an old-fashioned desk and I get the general impression of 
books, but I can remember but one, the dictionary. Rare 
observation on my part to notice nothing but a dictionary, 
and this was so huge as it stood on his desk that I couldn't 
miss it. 

There is a lovely view from the house of the countryside, 
with wide stretches of land and lovely trees, where deer are 
roaming around unafraid. 

Mrs. Wells is getting lunch and we have it outdoors. 
Junior is there, the boy — I call him that already. Their 
conversation is rapid, flippant. Father and son have a 
profound analytical discussion about the sting of a wasp as 
one of the insects buzzed around the table. 

It is a bit strange to me and I cannot get into the spirit 
of it, though it is very funny. I just watch and smile. Junior 
is very witty. He tops his father with jokes, but I sense the 
fact that H. G. is playing up to him. There is a twinkle in 
H. G.'s eye. He is proud of his boy. He should be. 

After lunch we walk about the grounds and I doze most 
of the afternoon in the summerhouse. They leave me alone 
and I have my nap out. 

A number of friends arrive later in the evening and we are 
introduced all around. Most of these are literary, and the 
discussion is learned. St. John Ervine, the dramatist and 
author of John Ferguson, came in later in the evening. 

Ervine discusses the possibility of synchronizing the voice 
with motion pictures. He is very much interested. I ex- 
plain that I don't think the voice is necessary, that it spoils 
the art as much as painting statuary. I would as soon rouge 
marble cheeks. Pictures are pantomimic art. We might 
as well have the stage. There would be nothing left to the 

Another son comes in. He is more like his mother. We 
all decide to play charades and I am selected as one of the 
actors. I play Orlando, the wrestler, getting a lot of fun 
through using a coal hod as a helmet. Then Noah's Ark, 
with Junior imitating the different animals going into the 


ark, using walking sticks as horns for a stag, and putting a 
hat on the end of the stick for a camel, and making elephants 
and many other animals through adroit, quick changes. I 
played old Noah and opened an umbrella and looked at the 
sky. Then I went into the ark and they guessed. 

Then H. G. Wells did a clog dance, and did it very well. 
We talked far into the night, and I marveled at Wells's 
vitality. We played many mental guessing games and Junior 
took all honors. 

I was awakened next morning by a chorus outside my door : 
"We want Charlie Chaplin." This was repeated many 
times. They had been waiting breakfast half an hour for me. 

After breakfast we played a new game of H. G.'s own 
invention. Everyone was in it and we played it in the bam. 
It was a combination of handball and tennis, with rules 
made by H. G. Very exciting and good fun. 

Then a walk to Lady Warwick's estate. As I walk I recall 
how dramatic it had sounded last night as I was in bed to 
hear the stags bellowing, evidently their cry of battle. 

The castle, with beautiful gardens going to seed, seemed 
very sad, yet its ruins assumed a beauty for me. I liked it 
better that way. Ruins are majestic. 

H. G. explains that everyone about is land poor. It takes 
on a fantastic beauty for me, this cultivation of centuries now 
going to seed, beautiful in its very tragedy. 

Home for tea, and in the evening I teach them baseball. 
Here is my one chance to shine. It is funny to see H. G. 
try to throw a curve and being caught at first base after 
hitting a grounder to the pitcher. H. G. pitched, and his 
son caught. As a baseball player H. G. is a great writer. 
Dinner that night is perfect, made more enjoyable for our 
strenuous exercise. As I retire that night I think of what 
a wonderful holiday I am having. 

Next day I must leave at 2.30 p.m., but in the morning 
H. G. and I take a walk and visit an old country church 
built in the eleventh century. A man is working on a tomb- 
stone in the churchyard, engraving an epitaph. 


H. G. points out the influence of the different lords of the 
manor on the art changes of different periods. Here the 
famiHes of Lady Warwick and other notable people are 
buried. The tombstones show the influence of the sculpture 
of all periods. 

We go to the top of the church and view the surrounding 
country and then back home for lunch. My things are all 
packed and H. G. and his son see me off. H. G. reminds 
me not to forget another engagement to dine with him and 
Chaliapin, the famous Russian barytone. 

As I speed into town I am wondering if Wells wants to 
know me or whether he wants me to know him. I am cer- 
tain that now I have met Wells, really met him, more than 
I've met anyone in Europe. It's so worth while. 



I HAD promised to attend the primiire showing of "The 
Kid" in Paris, and I went back to the French capital as 
I came, via airplane. The trip was uneventful, and on land- 
ing and going to my hotel I find a message from Doug 
Fairbanks. He and Mary had arrived in Paris and were 
stopping at the Crillon, They asked me over for a chat 
but I was too tired. Doug promised to attend the pre- 
midre at the Trocadero Theater. 

During the afternoon there came 250 souvenir programs 
to be autographed. These were to be sold that night for 
100 francs each. 

In the evening I went to the theater via the back way, 
but there was no escape. It was the biggest demonstration 
I had yet seen. For several blocks around the crowds 
were jammed in the streets and the gendarmes had their 
hands full. 

Paris had declared a holiday for this occasion, and as the 
proceeds of the entertainment were to be given to the fund 
for devastated France the elite of the country were there. 
I am introduced to Ambassador Herrick, then shown to 
my box and introduced to the Ministers of the French 

I do not attempt to remember names, but the following 
list has been preserved for me by my secretary : 

M. Menard, who attended on behalf of President Milla- 
rand; M. Jusserand, M. Herbette, M. Careron, M. Loucheur, 


Minister of the 'Liberated Regions; M. Hermite, Col. and 
Mrs. H. H. Harjes, Miss Hope Harjes, Mr. and Mrs.Ridgeley 
Carter, Mrs. Arthur James, Mrs. W. K. Vanderbilt, Mrs. 
Rutherford Stuyvesant, Walter Berry, M. de Errazu, 
Marquis de Vallambrosa, Mile. Cecile Sorel, Robert 
Hostetter, M. Byron-Kuhn, Mr. and Mrs. Charles G. Loeb, 
Florence O'Neill, M. Henri Lettelier, M. Georges Carpentier, 
Paul C. Otey, Mr. arid Mrs. George Kenneth End, Prince 
George of Greece, Princess Xenia, Prince Christopher, Lady 
Sarah Wilson, Mrs. Elsa Maxwell, Princess Sutzo, Vice- 
Admiral and Mrs. Albert P. Niblack, Comte and Comtesse 
Cardelli, Duchess de Talleyrand, Col. and Mrs. N. D. 
Jay, Col. Bunau Varila, Marquise de Talleyrand-Perigord, 
Marquis and Marquise de Chambrun, Miss Viola Cross, 
Miss Elsie De Wolf, Marquis and Marquise de Dampierre, 
and Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Rousseau. 

My box is draped with American and British flags, and 
the applause is so insistent that I find I am embarrassed. 
But there is a delicious tingle to it and I am feeling now 
what Doug felt when his "Three Musketeers" was shown. 
The programs which I autographed during the afternoon 
are sold immediately and the audience wants more. I auto- 
graph as many more as possible, 

I am photographed many times and I sit in a daze through 
most of it, at one time going back stage, though I don't 
know why, except that I was photoed back there, too. 

The picture was shown, but I did not see much of it. 
There was too much to be seen in that audience. 

At the end of the picture there came a messenger from the 
Minister: "Would I come to his box and be decorated?" 
I almost fell out of my box. 

I grew sick. What would I say? There was no chance 
to prepare. I had visions of the all-night preparation for 
my speech in Southampton. This would be infinitely worse. 
I couldn't even think clearly. Why do I pick out stunts 
like that? I might have known that something would 


But the floor would not open up for me to sink through 
and there was no one in this friendly audience who could 
help me in my dilemma, and the messenger was waiting 
politely, though I imagined just a bit impatiently, so, sum- 
moning what courage I had, I went to the box with about 
the same feeling as a man approaching the guillotine. 

I am presented to everybody. He makes a speech. It 
is translated for me, but very badly. While he was speaking 
I tried to think of something neat and appropriate, but all 
my thoughts seemed trite. I finally realized that he was 
finished and I merely said, "Merci," which, after all, was 
about as good as I could have done. 

And believe me, I meant "Merci" both in French and in 

But the applause is continuing. I must say something, 
so I stand up in the box and make a speech about the motion- 
picture industry and tell them that it is a privilege for us 
to make a presentation for such a cause as that of devastated 

Somehow they liked it, or made me believe they did. 
There was a tremendous demonstration and several bearded 
men kissed me before I could get out. But I was blocked 
in and the crowd wouldn't leave. At last the lights were 
turned out, but still they lingered. Then there came an old 
watchman who said he covld take us through an unknown 
passage that led to the street. 

We followed him and managed to escape, though there 
was still a tremendous crowd to break through in the 
street. Outside I meet Cami, who congratulates me, 
and together we go to the Hotel Crillon to see Doug and 

Mary and Doug are very kind in congratulating me, 
and I tell them of my terrible conduct diuing the presenta- 
tion of the decoration. I knew that I was wholly inadequate 
for the occasion. I keep mumbling of my faux pas and 
they try to make me forget my misery by telling me that 
General Pershing is in the next room. 


I'll bet the general never went through a battle like the 
one I passed through that night. 

Then they wanted to see the decoration, which reminded 
me that I had not yet looked at it myself. So I unrolled 
the parchment and Doug read aloud the magic words from 
the Minister of Instruction of the Public and Beaux Arts 
which made Charles Chaplin, dramatist artist, an Officier 
de Uinstruction Publique. 

We sit there until three in the morning, discussing it, 
and then I go back to my hotel tired but rather happy. 
That night was worth all the trip to Europe. 

At the hotel there was a note from Skaya. She had been 
to the theater to see the picture. She sat in the gallery 
and saw "The Kid," taking time off from her work. 

Her note : 

I saw picture. You are a grand man. My heart is joy. You must 
be happy. I laugh — I cry. Skaya. 

This little message was not the least of my pleasures 
that night. 

Elsie De Wolf was my hostess at luncheon . next day at 
the Villa Trianon, Versailles, a most interesting and enjoy- 
able occasion, where I met some of the foremost poets and 

Returning to Paris, I meet Henry Wales, and we take a 
trip through the Latin Quarter together. That night I 
dine with Cami, Georges Carpentier, and Henri LeteUier. 
Carpentier asks for an autograph and I draw him a picture 
of my hat, shoes, cane, and mustache, my implements of 
trade. Carpentier, not to be outdone, draws for me a huge 
fist incased in a boxing glove. 

I am due back in England next day to lunch with Sir 
Philip Sassoon and to meet Llpyd George. Lord and Lady 
Rock-Savage, Lady Diana Manners, and many other promi- 
nent people are to be among the guests, and I am looking 
forward to the luncheon eagerly. 

We are going back by airplane, though Carl Robinson 


lets me know that he prefers some other mode of travel. 
On this occasion I am nervous and I say frequently that I 
feel as though something is going to happen. This does 
not make a hit with Carl. 

We figure that by leaving at eight o'clock in the morning 
we can make London by one o'clock, which will give me 
plenty of time to keep my engagement. 

But we hadn't been up long before we were lost in the 
fog over the Channel and were forced to make a landing on 
the French coast, causing a delay of two hours. But we 
finally made it, though I was two hours late for my engage- 
ment, and the thought of keeping Lloyd George and those 
other people waiting was ghastly. 

Our landing in England was made at the Croydon aero- 
drome, and there was a big automobile waiting outside, 
around which were several hundred people. The aero- 
drome officials, assuming that the car was for me, hustled 
me into it and it was driven off. 

But it was not mine, and I found that I was not being 
driven to the Ritz, but to the Majestic Theater in Clapham. 

The chauffeur wore a mustache, and, though he looked 
familiar, I did not recognize him. But very dramatically 
he removed the mustache. 

"I am Castleton Knight. A long time ago you promised 
me to visit my theater. I have concluded that the only 
way to get you there is to kidnap you. So kindly consider 
yourself kidnaped." 

I couldn't help but laugh, even as I thought of Lloyd 
George, and I assured Mr. Knight that he was the first one 
who had ever kidnaped me. So we went to the theater, 
and I stayed an hour and surprised both myself and the 
audience by making a speech. 

Back at my hotel Sir Philip meets me and tells me that 
Lloyd George couldn't wait, that he had a most important 
engagement at four o'clock. I explained the airplane situ- 
ation to Sir Philip and he was very kind. I feel that it was 
most unfortunate, for it was my only opportunity to meet 

s> ^ 


Lloyd George in these times, and I love to meet interesting 
personages. I would like to meet Lenin, Trotzky, and the 

This is to be my last night in England, and I have promised 
to dine and spend the evening with my Cousin Aubrey. 
One feels dutiful to one's cousin. 

I also discover that this is the day I am to meet Chaliapin 
and H. G. Wells. I phone H. G. and explain that this is 
my last day, and of my promise to my cousin. H. G. is 
very nice. He understands. You can only do these things 
with such people. 

My cousin calls for me at dusk in a taxi and we ride to 
his home in Bayswater. London is so beautiful at this hour, 
when the first lights are being turned on, and each light to 
me is symbolical. They all mean life, and I wish some- 
times I could peer behind all these lighted windows. 

Reaching Aubrey's home, I notice a ntunber of people 
on the other side of the street standing in the shadows. 
They must be reporters, I think, and am slightly annoyed 
that they should find me even here. But my cousin explains 
hesitatingly that they are just friends of his waiting for a 
look at me. I feel mean and naughty about this, as I recall 
that I had requested him not to make a party of my visit. 

I just wanted a family affair, with no visitors, and these 
simple souls on the other side of the street were respecting 
my wishes. I relent and tell Aubrey to ask them over, 
anyway. They are all quite nice, simple tradesmen, clerks, 
etc. ♦ 

Aubrey has a saloon, or at least a hotel, as he calls it, 
in the vicinity of Bayswater, and later in the evening I 
suggest that we go there and take his friends with us. 
Aubrey is shocked. 

"No, not around to my place." Then they all demur. 
They don't wish to intrude. I like this. Then I insist. 
They weaken. He weakens. 

We go to a pub. in a very respectable part of Bayswater 
and enter the bar. The place is doing a flourishing business. 


There are a number of pictures of my brother Syd and my- 
self all over the walls, in character and straight. The place 
is packed to-night. It must be a very popular resort. 

"What will you have?" I feel breezy. "Give the whole 
saloon a drink." 

Aubrey whispers, "Don't let them know you are here." 
He says this for me. 

But I insist. "Introduce me to all of them." I must 
get him more custom. 

He starts quietly whispering to some of his very personal 
friends: "This is my cousin. Don't say a word." 

I speak up rather loudly. "Give them all a drink." I 
feel a bit vulgar to-night. I want to spend money like a 
drunken sailor. Even the customers are shocked. They 
hardly believe that it's Charlie Chaplin, who always avoids 
publicity, acting in this vulgar way. 

I am sure that some of them don't believe despite many 
assurances. A stunt of my cousin's. But they drink, 
reverently and with reserve, and then they bid me good 
night, and we depart quietly, leaving Bayswater as respect- 
able as ever. 

To the house for dinner, after which some one brings 
forth an old family album. It is just like all other family 

"This is your great-granduncle and that is your great- 
grandmother. This is Aunt Lucy. This one was a French 

Aubrey says: "You know we have quite a good family 
on your father's side." There are pictures of uncles who 
are very prosperous cattle ranchers in South Africa. Wonder 
why I don't hear from my prosp^erous relations. 

This is the first time that I am aware of my family and 
I am now convinced that we are true aristocrats, blue blood 
of the first water. 

Aubrey has children, a boy of twelve, whom I have 
never met before. A fine boy. I suggest educating him. 
We talk of it at length and with stress. "Let's keep up 


family tradition. He may be a member of Parliament or 
perhaps President. He's a bright boy." 

We dig up all the family and discuss them. The uncles in 
Spain. Why, we Chaplins have populated the earth. 

When I came I told Aubrey that I could stay only two 
hours, but it is 4 a.m. and we are still talking. As we 
leave Aubrey walks with me toward the Ritz. 

We hail a Ford truck on the way and a rather dandified 
young Johnny, a former officer, gives us a lift. 

"Right you are. Jump on." 

A new element, these dandies driving trucks, some of them 
graduates of Cambridge and Oxford, of good families, 
most of them, impecunious aristocrats. Perhaps it is the 
best thing that could happen to such families. 

This chap is very quiet and gentle. He talks mostly 
of his truck and his marketing, which he thinks is quite a 
game. He has been in the grocery business since the war 
and has never made so much money. We get considerable 
of his story as we jolt along in the truck. 

He is providing groceries for all his friends in Bayswater, 
and every morning at four o'clock he is on his way to the 
market. He loves the truck. It is so simple to drive. 

"Half a mo." He stops talking and pulls up for gas at a 
pretty little white-tiled gas station. The station is all Ht 
up, though it is but 5 a.m. 

"Good morning. Give me about five gal," 


The cheery greeting means more than the simple words 
that are said. 

The lad recognizes me and greets me frankly, though 
formally. It seems so strange to me to hear this truck driver 
go along conversing in the easiest possible manner. A truck 
driver who enjoyed truck driving. 

He spoke of films for just a bit and then discreetly stopped, 
thinking, perhaps, that I might not like to talk about them. 
And, besides, he liked to talk about his truck. 

He told us how wonderful it was to drive along in the 


early morning with only the company of dawn and the 
stars. He loved the silent streets, sleeping London. He 
was enterprising, full of hopes and ambitions. Told how 
he bartered. He knew how. His was a lovely business. 

He was smoking a pipe and wore a Trilby hat, with a 
sort of frock coat, and his neck was wrapped in a scarf. I 
figured him to be about thirty years of age. 

I nudged my cousin. Would he accept anything? We 
hardly know whether or not to offer it, though he is going 
out of his way to drive me to the Ritz. 

He has insisted that it is no trouble, that he can cut 
through to Covent Garden. No trouble. I tell the gas 
man to fill it up and I insist on paying for the gas. 

The lad protests, but I insist. 

"That's very nice of you, really. But it was a pleasure 
to have you," he says, as he gets back in his seat. 

We cut through to Piccadilly and pull up at the Ritz 
in a Ford truck. Quite an arrival. 

The lad bids us good-by. "Delighted to have met you. 
Hope you have a bully time. Too bad you are leaving. 
Bon voyage. Come back in the spring. London is charming 
then. Well, I must be off. I'm late. Good morning." 

We talk him over on the steps as he drives away. He is 
the type of an aristocrat that must live. He is made of the 
stuff that marks the true aristocrat. He is an inspiration. 
He talked just enough, never too much. The intonation of 
his voice and his sense of beauty as he appreciated the dawn 
stamped him as of the elite — the real elite, not the Blue 
Book variety. 

Loving adventure, virtuous, doing something all the time, 
and loving the doing. What an example he is! He has 
two stores. This is his first truck. He loves it. He is the 
first of his kind that I have met. This is my last night in 
England. I am glad that it brought me this contact with 
real nobility. 



I AM off in the morning for Southampton, miserable and 
depressed. Crowds — the same crowds that saw me 
come — are there. But they seem a bit more desirable. I 
am leaving them. There are so many things I wish I had 
done. It is pleasant to be getting this applause on my exit. 

I do not doubt its sincerity now. It is just as fine and as 
boisterous as it was when I arrived. They were glad to 
see me come and are sorry I am going. 

I feel despondent and sad. I want to hug all of them to 
me. There is something so wistful about London, about 
their kind, gentle appreciation. They smile tenderly as 
I look this way, that way, over there — on every side it is 
the same. They are all my friends and I am leaving them. 

Will I sign this ? A few excited ones are shoving autograph 
books at me, but most of them are under restraint, almost in 
repose. They feel the parting. They sense it, but are send- 
ing me away with a smile. 

My car is full of friends going with me to Southampton. 
They mean little at the moment. The crowd has me. Old, 
old friends turn up, friends that I have been too busy to 
see. Faithful old friends who are content just to get a 
glimpse before I leave. 

There's Freddy Whittaker, an old music-hall artist with 

whom I once played. Just acquaintances, most of them, 

but they all knew me, and had all shared, in spirit, my 

success. All of them are at the station and all of them imder- 



stand. They know that my Hfe has been full every minute 
I have been here. There had been so much to do. 

They knew and understood, yet they had come determined 
just to see me, if only at the door of my carriage. I feel 
very sad about them. 

The train is about to pull out and everything is excite- 
ment. Everyone seems emotional and there is a tense- 
ness in the very atmosphere. 

"Love to Alf and Amy," many of them whisper, those 
who know my manager and his wife. I tell them that I am 
coming back, perhaps next summer. There is applause. 
"Don't forget," they shout. I don't think I could forget. 

The trip to Southampton is not enjoyable. There is a 
sadness on the train. A sort of embarrassed sentimentality 
among my friends. Tom Geraghty is along. Tom is an 
old American and he is all choked up at the thought of my 
going back while he has to stay on in England. We are going 
back to his land. We cannot talk much. 

We go to the boat. Sonny is there to see me off. Sonny, 
Hetty's brother. 

There is luncheon with my friends and there are crowds 
of reporters. I can't be annoyed. There is nothing for 
me to say. I can't even think. We talk, small talk, joke 

Sonny is very matter-of-fact. I look at him and wonder 
if he has ever known. He has always been so vague with 
me. Has always met me in a joking way. 

He leans over and whispers, "I thought you might like 
this." It is a package. I almost know without asking that 
it is a picture of Hetty. I am amazed. He understood all 
the time. Was always alive to the situation. How England 
covers up her feelings ! 

Everybody is off the boat but the passengers. My friends 
stand on the dock and wave to me. I see everything in 
their glowing faces — loyalty, love, sadness, a few tears. 
There is a lump in my throat. I smile just as hard as I 
can to keep them from seeing. I even smile at the reporters. 


They're darn nice fellows. I wish I knew them better. 
After all, it's their job to ask questions and they have 
been merely doing their job with me. Just doing their 
jobs, as they see it. That spirit would make the world if 
it were universal. 

England never looked more lovely. Why didn't I go here? 
Why didn't I do this and that? There is so much that I 
missed. I must come back again. Will they be glad to see 
me? As glad as I am to see them? I hope so. My cheek 
is damp. I turn away and blot out the sadness. I am not 
going to look back again. 

A sweet little girl about eight years of age, full of laughing 
childhood, is coming toward me with a bubbling voice. 
Her very look commands me not to try to escape. I don't 
think I want to escape from her. 

"Oh, Mr. Chaplin," gurgled the little girl. "I've been 
looking for you all over the boat. Please adopt me like you 
did Jackie Coogan. We could smash windows together and 
have lots of fun. I love your plays." 

She takes my hand and looks up into my face. "They 
are so clever and beautiful. Won't you teach me like you 
taught him? He's so much like you. Oh, if I could only be 
like him." 

And with a rapt look on her little face she prattles on, 
leaving me very few opportunities to get in a word, though 
I prefer to listen rather than talk. 

I wave good-by to my friends and then walk along with 
her, going up and looking back at the crowd over the 

Reporters are here. They scent something interesting 
in my affair with the little girl. I answer all questions. 
Then a photographer. We are photographed together. And 
the movie men are getting action pictures. We are looking 
back at my friends on shore. 

The little girl asks: "Are they all actors and in the 
movies? Why are you so sad? Don't you like leaving 
England? There will be so many friends in America to 


meet you. Why, you should be so happy because you have 
friends all over the world!" 

I tell her that it is just the parting — that the thought 
of leaving is always sad. Life is always "Good-by." And 
here I feel it is good-by to new friends, that my old ones 
^are in America. 

We walk arotmd the deck and she discusses the merits 
of my pictures. 

"Do you like drama?" I ask. 

"No. I like to laugh, but I love to make people cry 
myself. It must be nice to act 'cryie' parts, but I don't 
like to watch them." 

"And you want me to adopt you?" 

"Only in the pictures, like Jackie. I would love to break 

She has dark hair and a beautiful profile of the Spanish 
type, with a delicately formed nose and a Cupid's bow sort 
of mouth. Her eyes are sensitive, dark and shining, dancing 
with life and laughter. As we talk I notice as she gets 
serious she grows tender and full of childish love. 

"You like smashing windows! You must be Spanish," 
I tell her. 

"Oh no, not Spanish; I'm Jewish," she answers. 

"That accounts for your genius." 

"Oh, do you think Jewish people are clever?" she asks, 

"Of course. All great geniuses had Jewish blood in them. 
No, I am not Jewish," as she is about to put that question, 
"but I am sure there must be some somewhere in me. I 
hope so." 

"Oh, I am so glad you think them clever. You must 
meet my mother. She's brilliant and -an elocutionist. She 
recites beautifully, and is so clever at anything. And I 
am sure you would like my father. He loves me so much 
and I think he admires me some, too." 

She chatters on as we walk around. Then suddenly: 
"You look tired. Please tell me and I will run away." 


As the boat is pulling out her mother comes toward us 
and the child introduces us with perfect formality and with- 
out any embarrassment. She is a fine, cultured person. 

"Come along, dear, we must go down to the second class. 
We cannot stay here." 

I make an appointment to lunch with the little girl on 
the day after the morrow, and am already looking forward 
to it. 

I spend the greater part of the second day in reading books 
by Frank Harris, Waldo Frank, Claude McKay and Major 
Douglas's Economic Democracy. 

The next day I met Miss Taylor, a famous moving- 
picture actress of England, and Mr. Hepworth, who is a 
director of prominence in Great Britain. Miss Taylor, 
though sensitive, shy, and retiring, has a great bit of 

They are making their first trip to America, and we soon 
become good friends. We discuss the characteristics of 
the American people, contrasting their youthful, frank 
abruptness with the quiet, shy, and reserved Britisher. 

I find myself running wild as I tell them of this land. 
I explain train hold-ups, advertising signs, Broadway lights, 
blatant theaters, ticket speculators, subways, the automat 
and its big sister, the cafeteria. It has a great effect on my 
friends and at times I almost detect unbelief. I find myself 
wanting to show the whole thing to them and to watch their 

At the luncheon next day the little girl is the soul of the 
party. We discuss everything from art to ambitions. At 
one moment she is full of musical laughter, and the next 
she is excitedly discussing some happening aboard ship. 
Her stories are always interesting. How do children see so 
much more than grown-ups? 

She has a great time. I must visit her father; he is so 
much like me. He has the same temperament, and is such 
a great daddy. He is so good to her. And she rattles on 
without stopping. 


Then again she thinks I may be tired. "Sit back now." 
And she puts a pillow behind my head and bids me rest. 

These moments with her make days aboard pass quickly 
and pleasantly. 

Carl Robinson and I are strolling around the top deck 
the next day in an effort to get away from everyone, and I 
notice some one looking up at a wire running between the 
funnels of the ship. Perched on the wire is a little bird, and 
I am wondering how it got there and if it had been there 
since we left England. 

The other watcher notices us. He turns and smiles. 
"The little bird must think this is the promised land." 

I knew at once that he was somebody. Those thoughts 
belong only to poets. Later in the evening he joins us at 
my invitation and I learn he is Easthope Martin, the com- 
poser and pianist. He had been through the war and it 
had left its stamp on this fine, sensitive soul. He had been 
gassed. I could not imagine such a man in the trenches. 

He is very frail of body, and as he talks I always 
imagine his big soul at the bursting point with a pent-up 

There is the inevitable concert on the last night of the 
voyage. We are off the banks of Newfoundland, and in the 
midst of a fog. Fog horns must be kept blowing at intervals, 
hence the effect on the concert, particularly the vocal part, 
is obvious. 

We land at seven in the morning of a very windy day, 
and it is eleven before we can get away. Reporters and 
camera men fill the air during all that time, and I am rather 
glad, because it shows Miss Taylor and Mr. Hepworth a 
glimpse of what America is like. We arrange to meet that 
night at Sam Goldwyn's for dinner. 

Good-bys here are rather joyous, because we are all getting 
off in the same land and there will be an opportunity to see 
one another again. 

My little friend comes to me excitedly and gives me a 
present — a silver stamp box. 'T hope that when you write 



your first letter you take a stamp from here and mail it to 
me. Good-by." 

She shakes hands. We are real lovers and must be careful. 
She tells me not to overwork. "Don't forget to come 
and see us; you must meet daddy. Good-by, Charlie." 

She curtsies and is gone. I go to my cabin to wait until 
we can land. There is a tiny knock. She comes in. 

"Charlie, I couldn't kiss you out there in front of all those 
people. Good-by, dear. Take care of yourself." This is 
real love. She kisses my cheek and then runs out on deck. 

Easthope Martin is with us that night at Goldwyn's 
party. He plays one of his own compositions and holds us 
spellbound. He is very grateful for our sincere applause 
and quite retiring and unassuming, though he is the hit of 
the evening. 

Following the dinner I carried the English movie folk 
on a sight-seeing trip, enjoying their amazement at the 
wonders of a New York night. 

"What do you think of it?" I asked them. 

"Thrilling," says Hepworth. "I like it. There is some- 
thing electrical in the air. It is a driving force. You must 
do things." 

We go to a cafe, where the elite of New York are gathered, 
and dance until midnight. I bid them good-by, hoping to 
meet them later when they come to Los Angeles. 

I dine at Max Eastman's the next night and meet McKay, 
the negro poet. He is quite handsome, a full-blooded 
Jamaican negro not more than twenty -five years of age. 
I can readily see why he has been termed an African prince. 
He has just that manner. 

I have read a number of his poems. He is a true aristocrat 
with the sensitiveness of a poet and the humor of a philoso- 
pher, and quite shy. In fact, he is rather supersensitive, 
but with a dignity and manner that seem to hold him aloof. 

There are many other friends there, and we discuss Max's 
new book on humor. There is a controversy whether to 
call it "Sense of Humor" or "Psychology of Humor." We 


talk about my trip. Claude McKay asks if I met Shaw. 
"Too bad," he says. "You would like him and he would 
have enjoyed you." 

I am interested in Claude. "How do you write your 
poetry? Can you make yourself write? Do you pre- 
pare?" I try to discuss his race. "What is their future? 
Do they—" 

He shrugs his shoulders. I realize he is a poet, an 

I dine the next evening with Waldo Frank and Mar- 
guerite Naumberg and we discuss her new system. She has 
a school that develops children along the lines of personality. 
It is a study in individuality. She is struggling alone, 
but is getting wonderful results. We talk far into the morn- 
ing on everything, including the fourth dimension. 

Next day Frank Harris calls and we decide to take a 
trip to Sing Sing together. Frank is very sad and wistful. 
He is anxious to get away from New York and devote time 
to his autobiography before it is too late. He has so much 
to say that he wants to write it while it is keen. 

I try to tell him that consciousness of age is a sign of keen- 
ness. That age doesn't bother the mind. 

We discuss George Meredith and a wonderful book he 
had written. And then in his age Meredith had rewritten 
it. He said it was so much better rewritten, but he had 
taken from it all the red blood. It was old, withered like 
himself. You can't see things as they were. Meredith had 
become old. Harris says he doesn't want the same experi- 

All this on the way to Sing Sing. Frank is a wonderful 
conversationalist. Like his friend Oscar Wilde. That same 
charm and brilliancy of wit, ever ready for argument. 
What a fund of knowledge he has. What a biography his 
should be. If it is just half as good as Wilde's, it will be 

Sing Sing. The big, gray stone buildings seem to me like 
an outcry against civilization. This huge gray monster 


with its thousand staring eyes. We are in the visiting 
room. Young men in gray shirts. Thank God, the hideous 
stripes are gone. This is progress, humanity. It is not 
so stark. 

There is a mite of a baby holding her daddy's hand and 
playing with his hair as he talks with her mamma, his wife. 
Another prisoner holding two withered hands of an old 
lady. Mother was written all over her, though neither 
said a word. I felt brutal at witnessing their emotion. 

All of them old. Children, widows, mothers — youth 
crossed out of faces by lines of suffering and life's penalties. 
Tragedy and sadness, and always it is in the faces of the 
women that the suffering is more plainly written. The men 
suffer in body — the women in soul. 

The men look resigned. Their spirit is gone. What is 
it that happens behind these gray walls that kills so com- 
pletely ? 

The devotion of the prisoners is almost childish in its 
eagerness as they sit with their children, talking with their 
wives, here and there a lover with his sweetheart — all of 
them have written a compelling story in the book of life. 
But love is in this room, love unashamed. Why aie sinners 
always loved ? Why do sinners make such wonderful lovers ? 
Perhaps it is compensation, as they call it. Love is paged 
by every eye here. 

Children are playing around the floor. Their laughter 
is like a benediction. This is another improvement, this 
room. There are no longer bars to separate loved ones. 
Human nature improves, but the tragedy remains just as 

The cells where they sleep are old fashioned, built by a 
monster or a maniac. No architect could do such a thing 
for human beings. They are built of hate, ignorance, and 
stupidity. I understand they are building a new prison, 
more sane, with far more understanding of human needs. 
Until then these poor wretches must endure these awful 
cells. I'd go mad there. 


I notice quite a bit of freedom. A number of prisoners 
are strolling around the grounds while others are at work. 
The honor system is a great thing, gives a man a chance to 
hold self-respect. 

They have heard that I am coming, and most of them 
seem to know me. I am embarrassed. What can I say? 
yow can I approach them? I wave my hand merely. 
"Hello, folks!" 

I decide to discard conversation. Be myself. Be 
comic. Cut up. I twist my cane and juggle my hat. I 
kick up my leg in back. I am on comic ground. That's 
the thing. 

No sentiment, no slopping over, no morals — they are fed 
up with that. What is there in common between us? Our 
viewpoints are entirely different. They're in — I'm out. 

They show me a cup presented by Sir Thomas Lipton, 
inscribed, "We have all made mistakes." 

"How do we know but what some of you haven't?" I 
ask, humorously. It makes a hit. They want me to talk. 

"Brother criminals and fellow sinners: Christ said, 'Let 
him who is without sin cast the first stone.' I cannot cast 
the stone, though I have compromised and thrown many a 
pie. But I cannot cast the first stone." Some got it. Others 
never will. 

We must be sensible. I am not a hero worshiper of 
criminals and bad men. Society must be protected. We 
are greater in number than the criminals and have the upper 
hand. We must keep it. But we can at least treat them 
intelligently, for, after all, crime is the outcome of society. 

The doctor tells me that but a few of them are criminals 
from heredity, that the majority had been forced into crime 
by circumstances or had committed it in passion. I notice a 
lot of evil-looking men, but also some splendid ones. I 
earnestly believe that society can protect itself intelligently, 
humanly. I would abolish prisons. Call them hospitals 
and treat the prisoners as patients. 

It is a problem that I make no pretense of solving. 


The death house. It is hideous. A plain, bare room, 
rather large and with a white door, not green, as I have been 
told. The chair — a plain wooden armchair and a single 
wire coming down over it. This is an instrument to snuff 
out life. It is too simple. It is not even dramatic. Just 
cold blooded and matter of fact. 

Some one is telling me how they watch the prisoner 
after he is strapped in the chair. Good God! How can 
they calmly plan with such exactness ? And they have killed 
as many as seven in one day. I must get out. 

Two men were walking up and down in a bare yard, 
one a short man with a pipe in his mouth, walking briskly, 
and at his side a warden. The keeper announces, shortly, 
"The next for the chair." 

How awful ! Looking straight in front of him and coming 
toward us, I saw his face. Tragic and appalling. I will 
see it for a long time. 

We visit the industries. There is something ironical 
about their location with the mountains for a background, 
but the effect is good, they can get a sense of freedom. A 
good system here, with the wardens tolerant. They seem 
to understand. I whisper to one. 

"Is Jim Larkin here?" He is in the boot department, 
and we go to see him for a moment. There is a rule against 
it, but on this occasion the rule is waived. 

Larkin struts up. Large, about six feet two inches, a 
fine, strapping Irishman. Introduced, he talks timidly. 

He can't stay, mustn't leave his work. Is happy. Only 
worried about his wife and children in Ireland. Anxious 
about them, otherwise fit. 

There are four more years for him. He seems deserted 
even by his party, though there is an effort being made to 
have his sentence repealed. After all, he is no ordinary 
criminal. Just a political one. 

He asks about my reception in England. "Glad to meet 
you, but I must get back." 

Frank tells him he will help to get his release. He smiles, 


grips Frank's hand hard. "Thanks." Harris tells me he 
is a cultured man and a fine writer. 

But the prison marked him. The buoyancy and spirit 
that must have gone with those Irish eyes are no more. 
Those same eyes are now wistful, where they once were gay. 

He hasn't been forgotten. Our visit has helped. There 
may be a bit of hope left to him. 

We go to the solitary-confinement cell, where trouble 
makers are kept. 

"This young man tried to escape, got out on the roof. 
We went after him," says the warden. 

"Yes, it was quite a movie stunt," said the youngster. 
He is embarrassed. We try to relieve it. 

"Whatever he's done, he's darn handsome," I tell the 
warden. It helps. "Better luck next time," I tell him. He 
laughs. "Thanks. Pleased to meet you, Charlie." 

He is just nineteen, handsome and healthy. What a pity. 
The greatest tragedy of all. He is a forger, here with mur- 

We leave and I look back at the prison just once. Why are 
prisons and graveyards built in such beautiful places? 

Next day everything is bustling, getting ready for the trip 
back to Los Angeles. I sneak out in the excitement and go 
to a matinee to see Marie Doro in "Lilies of the Field," 
and that night to "The Hero," a splendid play. A young 
actor, Robert Ames, I believe, gives the finest performance 
I have ever seen in America. 

We are on the way. I am rushing back with the swiftness 
of the Twentieth Century Limited. There is a wire from 
my studio manager. "When will I be back for work?" 
I wire him that I am rushing and anxious to get there. 
There is a brief stop in Chicago and then we are on again. 

And as the train rushes me back I am living again this 
vacation of mine. Its every moment now seems wonderful. 
The petty annoyances were but seasoning. I even begin 
to like reporters. They are regular fellows, intent on their 


And going over it all, it has been so worth while and the 
job ahead of me looks worth while. If I can bring smiles 
to the tired eyes in Kennington and Whitechapel, if I have 
absorbed and understood the virtues and problems of those 
simpler people I have met, and if I have gathered the least 
bit of inspiration from those greater personages who were 
kind to me, then this has been a wonderful trip, and some- 
how I am eager to get back to work and begin paying for it. 

I notice a newspaper headline as I write. It tells of the 
Conference for Disarmament. Is it prophetic? Does it 
mean that war will never stride through the world again? 
Is it a gleam of intelligence coming into the world ? 

We are arriving at Ogden, Utah, as I write. There is a 
telegram asking me to dine with Clare Sheridan on my 
arrival in Los Angeles. The prospect is most alluring. And 
that wire, with several others, convinces me that I am getting 

I turn again to the newspaper. My holiday is over. I 
reflect on disarmament. I wonder what will be the answer? 
I hope and am inclined to believe that it will be for good. 
Was it Tennyson who wrote : 

When shall all men's good 
Be each man's rule, and universal peace 
Shine like a shaft of light across che lare, 
And like a layer of beams athwart the sea? 

What a beautiful thought. Can those who go to Wash- 
ington make it more than a thought ? 
The conductor is calling: 
"Los Angeles." 


New Fiction by Well-Known Writers 


How severely should Society punish a man when 
Society itself has really been responsible for his crimes? 
— is one question posed in this new, powerful novel by 
the author of The Thread of Flame. It is a story of 
dynamic power and broad human appeal, in a rather 
different vein from his earlier work. It attempts to 
weigh modern business tactics by their effect on the 
individual worker. 


With this story Mr. Ford begins a new series about 
two girl characters — pretty, funny and irresistably 
human, who come to New York in search of romance. 
For over ten years his stories of Torchy and Shorty 
McCabe have amused millions of American readers. 
His two new girl characters are every bit as fascinating 
as Torchy and Shorty were. 


By Charles Caldwell Dobie 
The story of an underdog by the author of The Blood- 
Red Dawn. How Fred Starrett becomes the easy victim 
of a big business combine; how he survives the horrors 
of a San Francisco prison and insane asylum; and how, 
finally, out of a courageous act com it ted in a moment 
of desperation, his manhood is born — ^makes this an 
absorbing story and a powerful psychological study. 

Here you have something really novel in fiction. 
It combines humor and thrills, and its breezy plot 
is "something new under the sun." The climax of old 
miser Britt's scheme to secure a pretty, young wife is 
probably unique in literary, legal and real estate circles. 
Don't miss the good laughs there are for you in the 
intensely humorous "crook" incidents — and others — in 
this book. 

Franklin Square New York 

Life Stories of Famous Americans 

By Harkiot Stanton Blatch and Theodore Stanton 

This fascinating life story is told in a wholly original 
way — as a combination of autobiography, letters and 
a diary. Mrs. Stanton who called the first Woman's 
Rights convention, discusses the progress of the cause^ 
divorce, woman's rights in marriage, and a fascinating 
variety of subjects of first importance to the women 
— and men — of to-day. 


By Russell H. Conwell 

A book in itself a delightful entertainment and, in 
addition, a key to other countless hours of relaxation. 
It is Dr. Conwell's refreshing account of his meetings 
with Lincoln, and of the hours of delightful conversa- 
tion during which this great and much harassed Presi- 
dent exemplified his belief in the power and usefulness 
of laughter. 


By Albert Bigelow Paine 

This life story of Theodore N. Vail, the curiously 
modest man who by his faith in the telephone and 
telegraph built up one of the greatest institutions in the 
world and "made neighbors of a hundred million 
people," reads like romance. Mr. Paine was personally 
associated with Mr. Vail, as with Mark Twain, during 
his latter years; and he has preserved to us the intimate 
human aspect as well as the story of achievement of this 
other great American. 

Franklin Square New York 

University of California Library 
Los Angeles 

This book is DUE on the last date stamped below. 

L 007 296 690 6 


AA 000146198 7